“Tough Leadership” (Emmett Tyrrell on John McCain’s management abilities)

Here’s an excerpt and link to an excellent article by Emmett Tyrrell in The American Spectator. I had no idea that McCain was such a strong manager. He’s going to make a great President.

McCain’s management skills have yet to be publicized. After he came back from his five and a half years as a POW, McCain took command of the Navy’s largest squadron, a force of A-7 attack aircraft. It was the largest by a lot. Most such squadrons in those days numbered 12 to 25. McCain’s numbered 75, putting him in charge of a budget of over a billion dollars. This was during the post-Vietnam years, when Washington was cutting back on the military budget, and the McCain squadron was short on parts, maintenance crews, and even fuel. Some 25 of his aircraft were permanently disabled “hangar queens.” Morale was low. In what John Lehman, secretary of the navy in the Reagan Administration, has called “a near miracle of leadership and management,” McCain restored morale and got all 75 A-7s up and running. Fellow officers did not think it was possible, which brings us to the question of character.

After leaving Hanoi, McCain was never expected to fly again, such was the condition of his poorly treated injuries. The injuries included two broken arms, a broken leg, a broken shoulder, and the consequences of stab wounds to the groin and ankle. Navy doctors told him he would never again achieve “flight status.” In a show of exemplary fortitude, the young pilot undertook grueling physical therapy. He not only flew again but he took command of his squadron and rebuilt it. Then he became Navy liaison to the Senate, where, by working with hawkish Republicans and Democrats, he helped reverse the decline of the military and lay the foundation for the Reagan military buildup that bankrupted the USSR.

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