Niki Cheong blogging

John McCain is no maverick

The first time I came across this word, I was about 15 years old and thought it meant someone who could do special tricks. After all, it first heard of it watching the movie Maverick, starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster (which I enjoyed very much), which is about a conman who would trick people out of fighting him – or bashing him up.

Besides, doesn’t the word “maverick” sound a bit magic?

Of course, as I grew up, I got to understand what the real meaning (well, one of them, at least) of the word, that is, someone who doesn’t tow the line.

Of course, it’s not a word that I commonly hear in Malaysia (no one, I think, would even imagine using it on any of our politicians – although former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim standing up against the ISA has made him a maverick of sorts). Still, with the US Presidential elections hotting up – it seems to be a favourite keyword by John McCain and Sarah Palin – referring to themselves of course (syiok sendiri?).

Last night, I came across this article in the New York Times by John Schwartz headlined:

Who You Callin’ a Maverick?

The article is about the reference that McCain is a maverick – and, in tracing back the history of the term – declares that he is hardly one.

It was an interesting read – not only because it slams McCain *heh*heh* – but because I never knew that the term maverick was coined based on one particular Texan family who are actually called Maverick.

It even quotes one Terelitta Maverick, a descendant of Samuel Augustus Maverick whose “rebellion” made the word a catchphrase, saying:

“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”

10.25am Malaysian time (+8 GMT)

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