It’s on: McCain and Graham battle over “maverick” label

It’s no secret that Sen. John McCain has a love-hate relationship with the “maverick” moniker. But thanks to this week’s New Yorker, we can add another emotion to the senator’s complicated feelings about the label: jealousy. That is, jealously over other senators who might try to take the maverick title as their own…

Yet months earlier, according to Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker piece about the failure of climate-change legislation this year, McCain became “enraged” when a December 2009 article on Time’s Web site passed the nickname on to Sen. Lindsay Graham, whom the headline called the NEW GOP MAVERICK IN THE SENATE. Writes Lizza:

Graham told colleagues that McCain had called him and yelled at him, incensed that he was stealing the maverick mantle. “After that Graham story came out, McCain completely stopped talking to me,” Jay Newton-Small, the author of the Time piece, said.

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