McCain in 1998:
…character — I’m trying to think who it was who said, "Character is who you are in the dark."
Okay, flyboy, let’s hold you to your own standard. From a brutal piece of reporting in Rolling Stone:
McCain displayed little of Hope’s valor….McCain took no part in dousing the flames himself. After going belowdecks and briefly helping sailors who were frantically trying to unload bombs from an elevator to the flight deck, McCain retreated to the safety of the "ready room,"…watched the conflagration unfold on the room’s closed-circuit television….
As the ship burned, McCain took a moment to mourn his misfortune; his combat career appeared to be going up in smoke. "This distressed me considerably," he recalls in Faith of My Fathers. "I feared my ambitions were among the casualties in the calamity that had claimed the Forrestal."
The fire blazed late into the night. The following morning, while oxygen-masked rescue workers toiled to recover bodies from the lower decks, McCain was making fast friends with R.W. "Johnny" Apple of The New York Times, who had arrived by helicopter to cover the deadliest Naval calamity since the Second World War. The son of admiralty surviving a near-death experience certainly made for good copy, and McCain colorfully recounted how he had saved his skin. But when Apple and other reporters left the ship, the story took an even stranger turn: McCain left with them. As the heroic crew of the Forrestal mourned its fallen brothers and the broken ship limped toward the Philippines for repairs, McCain zipped off to Saigon for what he recalls as "some welcome R&R."
Reckless, hotheaded craptastic abandon, self-promotion and leaving others to clean up your mess. Character? Appalling.
UPDATE: VetsVoice put together a list of McCain’s record on veteran’s issues. Just as brutal.