Here’s the third in a series of Proust Questionnaires taken by the gubernatorial candidates. So-named because the French writer Marcel Proust liked it, the quiz is a fixture in Vanity Fair magazine, from which this version has been cribbed. The aim is to move beyond the spin, to get a sense of who the men and woman hoping to lead the state really are.
This time, it’s independent candidate Jeff McCormick’s turn to say what makes him tick.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A day outside with my wife and kids doing virtually anything. That’s about as good as it gets.
What is your greatest fear?
Anything tragic happening to my wife or kids.
What is the trait you most dislike in yourself?
I am overly self-critical.
What is the trait you most dislike in others?
Which living person do you most admire?
Which living person do you most despise?
[Dzhokhar] Tsarnaev. My wife and kids were around the corner when the bombs went off at the marathon.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Red Sox tickets that I didn’t get to use this season.
What is your current state of mind?
Unimpressed by my ability to thoughtfully answer this question.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
I learned a long time ago that anytime my sister asks about anything to do with clothing, I answer positively and move on.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I say “yes dear” quite often, but my wife would suggest that it is appropriate in every instance.
When and where were you happiest?
At the birth of my healthy children.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife and kids.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to play the piano.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Raising happy, responsible children.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I have lived an interesting life, and I would like to be younger and have more of it to live.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I’d like to come back as one of my children. It would be very interesting to grow up in this time of technology and information.
What is your most treasured possession?
An old watch my grandfather gave me.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
For people of faith to have given up hope.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What do you most value in your friends?
Who is your hero of fiction?
Growing up I was pretty impressed with some of the toys Batman had.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
George Washington was an amazing person, but one quality I identify with that he possessed was his sense of service.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My wife and my parents. The coaches and teachers who helped me get to where I am. They are all unsung, but truly heroes in my life.
Who are your favorite writers?
John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dan Brown, David McCullough.
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t have a lot of regrets, but not meeting my wife earlier in life [is one]. I would have liked to have more time together before we had kids.
How would you like to die?
Peacefully and surrounded by my family.
What is your motto?
You can do well by doing good.
Yvonne Abraham is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeAbraham