Campaign 2000: In This Corner...

The feisty McCain has been accused of losing control. But it's more complicated than that

The fix was in. John McCain's Republican opponents had been waiting for months to take him down a peg. His issue, campaign-finance reform, was up for debate in the Senate. One after another, Senators from his own party baited him, hoping to bring out his famous temper. "They tried to get him to explode on the floor," says McCain's ally, Democrat Russ Feingold. "They tried as hard as they could." McCain rocked in his shoes; he folded and then unfolded his arms; he fidgeted with the papers on his lectern. But the man once crowned Senator Hothead did not blow. As...

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