Cindy and Johnny were spouses,
But they were always apart,
Cindy was emotionally fragile,
And politics had Johnny's heart.
He was her man, but her libido was gone.

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The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, October 20, 2008. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at PsychologyToday.com.

Ballad of Cindy and Johnny

John and CindyCindy and Johnny were spouses,
But they were always apart,
Cindy was emotionally fragile,
And politics had Johnny's heart.
He was her man, but her libido was gone.

Based on her aloofness and their lack of warmth together, I surmised in my post What is Cindy McCain like in bed? that Cindy and John McCain did not have an active sex life. "A cool blonde with a razor-thin figure, elaborately coiffed hair, and clothes and make-up to die for, Cindy looks like someone who doesn't like to get mussed-up."

The post has received over 8,000 hits. But some PT readers were appalled. One complained:

McCain hugs her "in the most awkward way" as you put it because of the physical damage to his body after years of torture in Vietnam. He can't lift his arms over his head.

This was really an awful piece from a PhD. Psychology Today should be ashamed.

Now a team of New York Times researchers has confirmed my insights in a front page article on Sunday. (Written by Jodi Kantor and David M. Halbfinger, contributions were also made by Kitty Bennett and Mark Leibovich.)

The investigation found that the McCains are not an intimate couple:

For the last two decades they have mostly lived apart, she in Arizona, he in Washington. . . . The two often relax in separate places: Mr. McCain prefers the family's ranch in the Arizona desert, while Mrs. McCain's refuge is a high-rise condominium on the Pacific. . . .

When he was home, the two were "as affectionate as you can be with John McCain," said Wes Gullet, a former aide, explaining that his old boss, with his military training, restless energy and sarcastic humor, is not the cuddly type. . . .

Observers note:

She seems different this time - more guarded, more tense, superthin. She rarely campaigns away from her husband's side, and yet their interactions on the trail often appear brief and formal. . . .

In speaking about each other, the McCains use standard lines: she praises his experience, he tells the crowd that she should really be the candidate. Meghan McCain, their daughter, performs the image-softening role spouses usually perform for each other.

They ARE drawn together by politics:

From the start, Mrs. McCain's marriage has been defined by her husband's ambitions, and despite her sometimes punishing ride in political life, she does whatever she must to help fulfill them. . . .

"Just when I think we're complete opposites, it turns out we're not, that we've had a common goal - first the children and now this," she told Harper's Bazaar last year.

As to what is psychological about my original post, psychological insight enabled me to discern a relationship from simply observing two people on stage.