Monday, August 05, 2013


How John McCain Got His Groove Back

All of a sudden, Sen. John McCain matters again.

It's not like he disappeared. But after being sidelined for a time by his 2008 defeat in the presidential election against Barack Obama, the Arizona Republican has re-emerged as one of Obama's most important allies in the Senate.

McCain took the lead in crafting immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June. Last month, he came up with the deal that prevented the Senate from abolishing judicial filibusters, allowing several Obama Cabinet and agency nominees to win confirmation.

With GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Whip John Cornyn of Texas both nervous that working with Democrats might hurt their re-election chances next year, McCain has suddenly stepped up as the most important Republican Obama can do business with.

"It's fascinating," says Tom Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "He's back in the game -- a game he played well before he ran for the presidency -- and he's having fun."

... it's left McCain with a level of influence that's highly unusual for a former presidential nominee.

"We don't have many examples of this," says George C. Edwards III, a presidential scholar at Texas A&M University. "I don't think there's anyone who's played a role quite like McCain is playing now." ...
I know I frequently express concern that Democrats could blow it in upcoming electoral cycles, but there's a real possibility that Republicans are headed toward another 1964, with a Ted Cruz/Ben Carson ticket going down to a huge defeat, possibly after a government shutdown this year leads to significant GOP losses in the 2014 midterms. I may be a pessimist, but even I can see that disaster just might be looming for a Republican Party gone crazy.

And yet at a time when it may be finally dawning on the Beltway that the GOP is insane, and when that insanity might be in the process of having serious negative consequences for the party, it looks as if the biggest beneficiaries are going to be ... other Republicans. Yeah, Hillary's still a rock star, but these days it's Chris Christie who sends a thrill up Beltway journalists' legs. Or, God help us, it's McCain.

It's possible that the Republican Party will be in such disarray by 2016 that Democrats will finally be on the brink of being able to govern -- for the first time since, well, the mid-1960s. And yet there will still be insider pundits arguing that, for the sake of the country, and to end this horrible era of bipartisan intransigence, Hillary ought to Johnny Mac as a running mate.


Victor said...

Look, how can the MSM be clamoring for bipartisanship, if one party is certifiably insane?

They will continue to look for some sort of old-school-appearing semi-moderate Republicans, to give a patina of sanity on the party of abject madness, led by Manichean maniacs and religious loons - or, loons who are faking it.

Unknown said...

Keep your shirt on. The msm fanboys are desperate for a daddy, and McCain seems quite reasonable these days. Also, they love the rough-talking Christie because something. I guarantee you that (1) McCain is never again running for president, and (2) once Christie opens his obnoxious mouth at the ladies' clubs in Iowa and New Hampshire, he'll look like road kill in the primaries.

Lawrence said...

John McCain is going to be 80 years old in 2016. John, we can't miss you if you won't go away.

brett said...

NPR is as bad or worse than Fox in deforming the media landscape. They deliver right of center mush while perceived as being left of liberal.

BH said...

They can push Christie, Corker, Daniels, etc., or even McCain all they want. My rule is: if it's willing to put an "R" above or after its name on a ballot, it doesn't get my vote.