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What's Next For McCain?


Once competitors, President-elect Barack Obama and Arizona Sen. John McCain met today in Chicago. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The meeting today between President-elect Barack Obama and his vanquished Republican rival John McCain is more about symbolism than substance, but it raises an intriguing question about what the future holds for the Arizona senator.

Prior to running for president this year, McCain was generally regarded as one of a handful of senators -- of either partisan stripe -- willing to work across the aisle to broker compromises on major issues of the day. Campaign finance reform is the most lasting example, but others -- including his leadership role in the "Gang of 14" -- also cropped up regularly over McCain's past decade of work in the Senate.

(Following their meeting today, the the two men released a joint statement that asserted their "hope to work together in the days and months ahead on critical challenges like solving our financial crisis, creating a new energy economy, and protecting our nation's security.")

During his bid for the presidency, however, McCain became much more willing to echo party orthodoxy -- an absolute necessity for him if he wanted to win over the skeptical conservative voters who make up the party's base and carry an outsized role in picking the Republican presidential nominee.

With the presidential race behind him, it remains to be seen how -- and how long -- McCain will serve in the Senate.

He seems to have three options: return to his deal-brokering ways with the added stature of having been his party's most recent presidential nominee, serve the role of the loyal opposition to the Obama presidency or simply play out the string for the next two years and retire in 2010.

Which path will McCain take? Those who know him best believe the first road laid out above is the most likely one for McCain to head down.

Fred Davis, the ad man who served as McCain's lead media consultant during the presidential bid, said the Arizona Senator would win up as a "dealmaker" and "peacemaker" during the Obama presidency.

"I never felt he was comfortable in the customary presidential candidate roll of attacker, and think he'll find personal honor bringing both sides together to accomplish great things," Davis added.

It is clear from a re-examination of the campaign that McCain was often visibly uncomfortable -- in a way that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin never was -- in the role of partisan attack dog; he barred his campaign from ever discussing Obama's ties to Rev. Jeremiah Wright publicly and half-heartedly (and not very effectively) tried to raise the issue of Bill Ayers during the race.

That's not to say McCain didn't hit Obama and hit him hard. He did. But, it as long been clear to those who closely watch the Arizona Senator that the brass knuckles element of politics doesn't come all that naturally to him.

Witness his apology following the 2000 campaign for not speaking out against flying the confederate flag over the South Carolina statehouse.

At that time, McCain called his failure to speak out a "sacrifice of principle for personal ambition" -- a statement that provides a window into the Arizona Senator's political soul.

In his mind's eye, McCain sees himself as a cut above most politicians; he believes that he bases his actions on honor and merit, not political expediency. Therefore, anything that McCain sees as rankly political or overly partisan tends to rankle him personally as it conflicts with his own vision of his political career.

Take McCain's recent appearance on behalf of Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R). While McCain was heavily criticized from the left for stumping on behalf of a man whose ads he had condemned just six years ago, it's important to note that nowhere in his speech for Chambliss did McCain mention Obama negatively or take a partisan jab at him, a punch that would have undoubtedly been well-received by the red meat partisan audience.

In many ways, McCain is in uncharted territory. The last time a Republican senator ran and lost a presidential bid was back in 1996 when Bob Dole (R-Kans.) was defeated by President Bill Clinton. Dole, however, had already resigned his Senate seat to focus full time on the campaign, so there was no question that any impact he would have on politics would come from outside the Senate.

The more apt example for McCain may well be that of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry who returned to the Senate after his defeat at the hands of President George W. Bush in 2004. While the comparison is imperfect (Kerry was weighing another presidential bid in four years time while it is almost certain McCain is not), it does speak to the struggles -- and opportunities -- that will present themselves to McCain over the next few years. (McCain and Kerry have a long and complicated relationship that makes this comparison even more intriguing.)

Kerry stumbled occasionally in his first few years but between 2006 and 2008 emerged as an ardent and effective voice on foreign policy matters -- particularly Iraq -- for the Democratic party. That advocacy has made him a leading candidate for the Secretary of State posting in an Obama Administration.

How McCain handles his defeat could have major implications for the success or failure of Obama's call for a postpartisan political climate. McCain has the influence and gravitas in the Senate to help push or torpedo Obama's agenda items. Today's meeting will provide an early indication of which direction the Arizona Republican is headed over the next few years.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 17, 2008; 11:53 AM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Comments

McCain lost because he thought he had the presidency locked. His campaign was a left/right/back/front with no set path. He was downright nasty in the ads about Obama.
People took offense and falin palin did not help.
Arizonian's will NOT re-elect him again.
a noun a verb and POW
McCain: "I just want to apologize for the lies and the smears and the Palin attacks on your patriotism and for "That one" comment..." too little too late

Posted by: katerinaDeligiannis | November 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The long campaign process must have opened a new world of opportunities for Mr. McCain. Either he will view his loss as an opportunity to enter that new world or he will live and die a bitter old man. The choice is McCains.

Posted by: VisionAM | November 20, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The new administration has a long list of legislation that will need to be passed quickly through Congress to set America back on the path to economic growth and stability. McCain can help by bringing over Republican votes in the Senate and being a watch dog for superflious ear marks that our nation cannot afford. This would be a change in the way Congress does business - less bi-parisanship and more working togehter for the good of the nation instead of the self interest of one party or person.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | November 18, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse


Is McCain being considered for Secretary of Defense???

Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 18, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse


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.

.

.


Telling over the past few weeks was when the idea of an auto bail-out got out, the reaction was "Why don't they let them go bankrupt, jettison the debts and restructure the union contracts."

Such a position would have been unthinkable 30 years ago.


However that reaction appears to have stopped the talk of a bail-out.

We are in uncharted territory right now.


Let's recap: We have a Treasury Secretary who went to Capitol Hill asked for $700 Billion for the bail-out with the stated purpose of purchasing toxic assets.


NOW HE SAYS HE IS NOT DOING THAT -


Why doesn't he give the money back ? -


At the same time WHAT IS HE DOING WITH THAT MONEY -

AT THE SAME TIME THEY APPEAR TO HAVE QUIETED THE OBAMA PEOPLE BY PROMISING TO GIVE THEM CONTROL OVER HALF THE MONEY.


Chris would you please write a piece on this topic?


.


.


.


.

Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 18, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

So Zouk thinks a puppy is a real issue. Any other substantive thoughts from this guy?

Posted by: cy31b | November 17, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Is socialism really bad for you? Consider this: Social Security, GI Bill, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidized crops (not so good), Distribution of the wealth in Alaska to all taxpayers, corporate welfare (OK, that one's bad). Has anybody refused this money in the last 73 years? NO! That means we are all Socialists while registering as Republicans or Democrats.

Posted by: cy31b | November 17, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING: Drudge is reporting (via some British newspaper) HRC has accepted 44's offer to be his secretary of state. Q: How do you accept an offer that was never made???? I guess unhinged Hillarian Harriet Christian can now accept the "offer" to be HRC's Undersecretary for African Affairs.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 17, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Who cares?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 17, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse


We had a narrow escape from old drill, baby, drill and McCain.
Maybe we can get off the oil based economy now and move forward with renewable energy. Fossil fuel is killing this planet's ecology and it's time to stop.
Otherwise, if you want to see a real depression, wait until Wall street goes under water after the polar ice meltdown.

Posted by: seemstome | November 17, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I figure that he'll become a talent scout for the GOP.

Posted by: DonJasper | November 17, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget."

Posted by: diana9 | November 17, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

JackSmith1,

What a completely random political advertisement that was :P

But hey, more power to you trying to get the word out.

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't see him retiring; that would seem too much like packing his bags and giving up. He likes his Senate job, and I imagine he'll stick with it.

By the same token, I can't see him in Cabinet; he's not tempermentally suited for that kind of executive function, I don't think. The legislature more suits his personality.

Posted by: SeanC1 | November 17, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

WE HAVE MORE TO DO:

Democrat Jim Martin is in a runoff against Bush Republican Saxby Chambliss for the Senate seat from Georgia. Bush's Saxby Chambliss voted against spending a few measly dollars to provide health care coverage for Georgia, and Americas needy children. But he supported wasting hundreds of billions of your dollars, and the life BLOOD of Americas finest on an unnecessary war in Iraq.

At a time when 47 million of you have no health insurance coverage, and over 100 million of you with insurance are just one major illness away from complete financial destruction. Bush and Saxby Chambliss voted to make the heart break of bankruptcy relief even harder for all of you to use.

You see, Bush and Saxby Chambliss, and his family don't have to worry about their health care coverage. They have the finest health care coverage your tax money can buy for them. Courtesy of you. The American Tax payer. In fact, no one but the super rich can afford the health care coverage you the tax payer provide for Saxby Chambliss, and his family for FREE! with your tax dollars.

He supposedly works for you. But he doesn't think you and your family should have access to the type of taxpayer supported FREE health care that you provide for him, and his loved ones for FREE!. Doesn't that just make you BURRING MAD!

Vote for JIM MARTIN for US senator from Georgia. Vote for JIM Martin who will be on your side. Vote for JIM MARTIN who will work with President Obama and a majority congress for you. Vote for JIM MARTIN most of all for your-self, your family's, friends, and loved ones. Vote for JIM MARTIN for a better America, and a better World.

Don't let Saxby Chambliss make a chump out of you by tricking you into voting against your own best interest. Saxby chambliss is NOT! on your side. He's not one of you. He is on George Bush's side. And we all know what a catastrophe the Bush Chambliss administration has been the past 8 years.

Contact all your family and friends and do every thing you can to see to it that JIM MARTIN and GEORGIANS! take that senate seat back for Georgia, and America. No matter where you live in America. This is important to you. President Obama will need all the help, and power you can give him to try and fix this catastrophic mess that the Corrupt Bush Chambliss administration has created.

As I said before you will have to vote in overwhelming numbers to overcome the Bush Chambliss "Let Them Eat Cake" vote fraud machine. Vote early if you can. Then help everyone you can get to the polls and vote for JIM MARTIN. You and your loved ones don't have to be Saxby Chambliss's victims anymore.

I know you will get it done. Just like you did for President Obama.

God bless all of you

jacksmith - WORKING CLASS... :-)

Posted by: JackSmith1 | November 17, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

armpeg,

The elections are over. You can drop the whole "socialist marxist" BS. Or are you that inept that you have to keep spouting GOP-induced rhetoric from the campaign trail? Or do you honestly believe the crap that they were spewing? Do us all a favor. Research what Socialism and Marxism are, write a 500 word essay on it, and then come back and tell us that the Democrats are socialists and marxists.

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Chris, not to go all English-teacherly on you, but--you could use a proofreader! Like,

1. the Arizona Senator would win up
2. roll of attacker
3. It as long been clear
4. "Overly partisan" (Or did you mean "overtly?")
5. Hyphenating an adverb like "well-received" – and then you go write "postpartisan"
. . . and so on.

It's distracting, fella.


Posted by: Sophie2008 | November 17, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The reason McCain lost was because he was willing to cross the aisle and work with the Democrat Socialists, even against his own party and president. This is the reason President-elect Barack Obama needs guys like McCain to take part of the blame when the do-do hits the fan in a couple of years, when Obama's Socialist Marxist ideas have had time to make an economic mess of America's economy. What the Republicans should do is exactly what the Democrat Socialists did when congress was controlled by them, obstruct everything no matter what in order to not give the president or congress any sucessfull programs that they could use in their campaigns for future re-election. The Democrat Socialists didn't care then that a lot of President Bush's and the then Republican-controlled congress's programs and ideas would be in America's interests. All they cared about was regaining political power. A good example of that was when President Bush and the then Republican-controlled congress forsaw the Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac meltdowns comming, and wanted to stop it before it happened in bills back in 2003 and 2005. Every Democrat Socialist in congress then voted against any restrictions on bank mortgage loans going to people who were on welfare and couldn't afford to pay it back. The Democrat Socialists--like Barney Frank, Criss Dodd, Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer, and others--instead forced these mortgage lending institutions to grant these loans with threats of legal action for discrimination, red-linning, and racist lending practices. Now that the do-do has hit the fan these same shysters are not only still in control, but have increased their numbers in congress. President-elect Obama's schmoozing with Democrat Socialist-lite guys like McCain, is nothing more than the comming Obama administrations attempt to involve Republicans in the comming economic mess when it happens. President Obama will then be able to divert the blame, as if the economic mess was caused by both political parties, instead of his Socialist Marxist policies.

Posted by: armpeg | November 17, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Who wants an amoral "maverick" in their Cabinet in these perilous times?

Send him back to the Senate (where he can lunch with that other loser, Judas Joe Lieberman. They can prevent each other from feeling lonely.)

Posted by: pali2500 | November 17, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Bulldog wrote that McC and Kerry should work together to study veteran's care, but added Gitmo, torture, eavesdropping, and FISA to the list. Then he said:
"...there still may be room for some prosecutions."

No.

One can have congressional fact finding for policy making, or the Justice Department investigating possible crimes. When the Congress sets itself up to investigate crimes, the indictments get dismissed [see: Ollie North] because the Congress is incapable of a criminal investigation that will produce admissible evidence, by design. It is a legislature, not an investigator, prosecutor, or Grand Jury.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 17, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The little man is just going to have to accept that the high point of his life was marrying the mobster's daughter.

(No wonder the Reagans loathed him.)

Posted by: pali2500 | November 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Despite the poor poor campaign that McCain ran, I still think he's got things to offer the Obama Administration. Given his track record, he's obviously been around the block and knows how to work the system. I think putting him in for a VA position would not be a bad thing, considering his history. I don't think shunning him is going to accomplish anything, especially when he's still got a few good years left in him. Put him to use, I say.

Posted by: XanderB | November 17, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

McCain: "I just want to apologize for the lies and the smears and the Palin attacks on your patriotism and for "That one" comment..."

Obama (gently interrupting): "That's OK, John. We were expecting a typical Republican campaign. And you did not disappoint."

Posted by: pali2500 | November 17, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

scootmandubious -

Could you please post a listings of the "crimes" or are just against free speech by people you disagree with?

Posted by: leapin | November 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1: I tend to agree with you. Obama doesn't owe McCain anything. I do think Obama tries hard to be fair no matter who he is dealing with. Also, I think that he can probably rise above even grudges, if he recognizes a particular strength in another person that can be directed for his purposes.McCain is probably fortunate to have had such a rival.

Posted by: commoner3 | November 17, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget."

Posted by: diana9 | November 17, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I always remember asking for things from the back seat when I was a kid. My parents always answered "We'll See".

Posted by: king_of_zouk

-----------------------

Ah. That explains so much about you.

Posted by: wpost4112 | November 17, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if ole' magoo looked Obama in the eye when they met today?

Posted by: Heerman532 | November 17, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The campaign is over now and Barack Obama will be the next president. Americans losing their jobs and homes every day and voted Obama and the Democrats in to fix this problem. Hard feelings over what was said during the campaign will not solve the nation's will accomplish nothing. The new president will need broad consensus from both parties in order to take effective action. I'm heartened to note that Mr. Obama understands this and is willing to do WHAT MUST BE DONE for the GOOD OF THE NATION.

Posted by: ThePhotogsBlog | November 17, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

sgoewey obviously thinks only people he agrees with should enjoy Freedom of Speech.

Posted by: mucus99 | November 17, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't that the exact same thing that qualified any dissenter a socialist, Marxist, Liberal, tree hugging pinko when the shoe was on the other foot?"

When the shoe was on the other foot, it was established that Dissent Is Patriotic, right?

Dissent is easy and fun, and the Republicans should go to it!

Posted by: mucus99 | November 17, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of right-wing extremists like Michael Alan Weiner (Michael Savage) who fanned the fuels of hate.
That would be A GREAT ROLE for McCain to take on. Savage is the ignorant man who said kids with autism just need a spanking. He is demented and needs to be taken off the airwaves. Free speech is not the same as inciting to riot/conduct hate crimes. Bill Moyers Journal on PBS did a special that included disturbing air waves actual footage by Savage (the first I'd ever heard outloud) that led to one of his listeners killing people in Unitarian church bombing in Alabama.

This is a no-lose issue for McCain to join with Moyers and pull back the curtain on this man who is spreading hate-speech. If McCain puts country first, he can restore his party's reputation by getting Savage's hate-speech off the airwaves.

And yes I loved McCain's concession speech. If he'd talked like that the entire campaign --and told his running mate to do the same--he would have had a better chance at least, several Republicans that I know who finally switched to Obama might have made a different choice.

As for "Weiner/Savage, boycott, anyone?" Yes. Please. But I think we're preaching to the choir. I know there once was an email petition going around to get him fired for his hateful remarks blaming parents for their children's autism. Not sure where it went but if he's still on the air it's a disgrace. He's a mean-spirited, pitiful old man who should under no circumstances be given a microphone.

Posted by: sgoewey | November 17, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"I learned more from that one mistake than all the good decisions I've made."

Posted by: rtfanning | November 17, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Worth noting: At the start of their meeting today, McCain was asked whether he would help Obama with his Administration and responded:

"Obviously."
-------------------------------------------
DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY -- While the motto of West Point [yes, McCain is a USNA graduate]appropriately reflects McCain's recent actions regarding President-Elect & Commander-in-Chief-Elect Obama.

I would conclude that Obama will listen CAREFULLY to McCain's positions, especially on national security matters and he would be foolish to ignore the wide range of foreign leaders and their cabinets and militaries who respect McCain's views and his patrotism.

WE MAY EVEN HAVE THE FIRST TIME IN MANY YEARS where a novice Democratic President is able to 'absorb' the views of his 'royal opposition' effectively enough for foreign countries to see an amalgamated Democratic-Republican presidency.

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | November 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I draw a sharp delineation between the Hero McCain and the politician McCain. I'll continue to idolize the Hero, but that has nothing to do with his abysmal efforts in politics. The Lefties love him because he's a spoiler. Period. That's it. Show me a Lefty who talks about honorable disagreement and I'll show you a Lefty left out in the cold in his own party (need any examples???). Sorry, McCain. You only made it easier for Obama to win. You didn't promote your own cogent ideas, or ideas for that matter. If as many here suggest in what can only be called a left-handed compliment you were co-opted by right-winged crazies, shame on you. You know where responsibility stops. Accept it and go back sit under your tree in Arizona.

Posted by: myersj1 | November 17, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

sometimes i wonder how the people one always finds in comments sections - from both ends of the political spectrum - manage to hold jobs or accomplish anything in their own lives while holding these "any kind of compromise or pragmatism is a sell-out that makes me want to puke" philosophies... and then i realize that, of course, they can't, that's why they're able to post comments online all day long (me, i'm just spending a few moments while waiting for some edits to show up)

Posted by: dippinkind | November 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

the market is down 10-15% since
obama was voted in. I see no
reason the fall will stop.
Just the talk of bailing out
GM is enough to crumple a
shaky economy.
McCain is SO old,
he should sit in his chair
and open his mouth when
they feed him.
America needs a NO PARTY SYSTEM!

Posted by: USA3 | November 17, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"The Question is, What's next for all of mainstream media that trashed all journalistic ethics and campaign finance reform and became Obama Pimps? You can never trust them again."

***

Haha! As if someone who makes a statement like this EVER trusted the media in the first place.

Posted by: castanea | November 17, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I know it will be tough with committee assignments getting in the way, but I'd like to see both Sens. Kerry and McCain be appointed to help investigate the paperwork of the administration on torture, veterans care, FISA and evesdropping and renditions and Guantanamo.

As two former warriors, I think their evaluations from both sides of the aisle could be invaluable. There is a lot to undo in these areas, and although I suspect Bush will pardon many in his waning days, there still may be room for some prosecutions. Even without them, airing "the dirty linen" will be helpful toward pushing for reform.

Posted by: bulldog6 | November 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

John McCain will do whatever he feels like right now and will not let a bunch of hacks persuade him from his way. He was lead the wrong way during the election and he should have ran his campaign with the same message he did in 2000 after he won the nominaton. Someone though with their head up their a$$ talked him into running the old and tiring right wing platform. He is free to do what he wants and if he returns as that grand player of partisan politics our country will be that much better. It will be good to see that old lost friend return.

Posted by: pkperez | November 17, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The Question is, What's next for all of mainstream media that trashed all journalistic ethics and campaign finance reform and became Obama Pimps? You can never trust them again.

Posted by: ekim53 | November 17, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

One more thing..........

How is it that as soon as Republican's are way out of the reach of power it's suddenly ok to be the 'loyal opposition'??

Isn't that the exact same thing that qualified any dissenter a socialist, Marxist, Liberal, tree hugging pinko when the shoe was on the other foot? If the remaining Repubs want to play roadblock through 2010 then they'll find themselves in an even bigger hole when the voters get another crack at the polls. Start living up to the Country First bumper sticker (since your lives are dictated in 15 words or less) and maybe the party will get a couple of seats back.

Posted by: theobserver4 | November 17, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to welcoming back the 2000 McCain. The 2008 version, like VISTA, should be shelved.

Posted by: twstroud | November 17, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"It is my personal opinion that President Elect Obama owes Senator McCain; NOTHING, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH."

Its not a question of what PE Obama 'owes' Sen McCain, its a question of working with a senior member of the minority party who works for pragmatic - rather than ideological - solutions.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 17, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Some, like Weiner, continue to do so. Weiner now says that the death of Obama's grandmother is 'suspicious.' You know what that implies? What does McCain have to say about it? Absolutely nothing."
Posted by: scootmandubious | November 17, 2008 1:10 PM |
--------------
Why should McCain have to stand up and say anything, let alone acknowledge clowns like Savage?, it just gives them credibility.

People like Savage don't deserve the time of day, especially from an elected government official.

Posted by: JRM2 | November 17, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

given his track record, we should take Senator McCain at his word and assume he will attempt to help with compromise legislation where he believes it will be helpful and not in conflict with his fundamental beliefs. There should be many times where such collaboration will be possible.

Unlike many of his overly inflexible and dogmatic Republican Party cohorts McCain has a track record of acting statesmanlike and helping to craft legislation and policy which is good for the nation. Remember that track record was what caused many conservative true believers not to support him.

If McCain had conducted more of his campaign with the tone and subsance of his concession speech it might have been a closer race. But, when you are forced to cowtow to a party line which you don't really believe in and base your campaign on a series of negative personal attacks, the electorate has a tendency to vote against you and not necessarily for the option.

John Mccain has served his country as a true patriot. I see no reason to believe he will not do so as long as he decides to serve in the Senate.

Posted by: bobfbell | November 17, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I think the writing is on the wall for McCain with that gracious concession speech. His look of contempt and anger at his supporters only showed in flashes, but it was clear he was embarrassed to let his campaign run away just for a shot at the win. Maybe Obama will have some cabinet position or other treat if he indeed shows Country First over talk radio.

He will restore his honor and throw off the weighted shackles of the Rep party that are bile spitting cretins like Zouk.

Posted by: theobserver4 | November 17, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

It is apparent McCain is something of a gadfly among Republicans, and that he does have the best of intentions-often muddied by political considerations, his lack of deep intellect, and his biases toward the military and his military upbringing.

With the country so desperately in a "legacy" hole as a result of the Bush/Cheney Administration, it would be marvelous if McCain could cooperate fully with the President-elect. And that Obama would give McCain some clout where they both agree.

Too naive a wish???

Posted by: Spectator | November 17, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Why should it be "obvious" that he's going to help the new administration? It is the obvious right and duty of the opposition party to oppose!

The people who voted for McCain don't want deals and peace with this administration! They want him to stop this administration dead in its tracks! As dead, indeed, as the Bush administration has been for a long time. Where is McCain's sense of obligation to his voters, eh?

"He'll find personal honor bringing both sides together to accomplish great things" -- Personal honor selling out to the other side? A curious conception of honor, indeed.

Posted by: mucus99 | November 17, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

It is my personal opinion that President Elect Obama owes Senator McCain; NOTHING, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | November 17, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Unlike most defeated pols, both Kerry and McC have been through much worse. It is one of the characteristics of combat veterans and cancer survivors, and probably survivors of brain surgery, like JB. McC will be much more likely to resume his role as a truly exceptional senator than would someone embittered by a loss. And for the reason I suggest, I am sure that he will not be embittered.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 17, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Now that the election is over, McCain can go back to being the darling of the media and the left. this is the spot he always liked.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope McCain will go back to being the senator I respected...his concession speech was huge indication (to me) that will happen. I wish him success in doing what is best for country and not party.

Posted by: linda1413 | November 17, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

After the campaign McCain and his surrogates ran, I lost all respect for him. If President-elect Obama wants to work with him, God bless him, but I am ashamed of McCain.

I hold John McCain partially responsible for the hundreds of hate crimes that have occurred in the aftermath of his hate-mongering.

He, and right-wing extremists like Michael Alan Weiner (Michael Savage), fanned the fuels of hate.

Some, like Weiner, continue to do so. Weiner now says that the death of Obama's grandmother is 'suspicious.' You know what that implies? What does McCain have to say about it? Absolutely nothing.

As for Weiner/Savage, boycott, anyone?

http://scootmandubious.blogspot.com/2008/11/michael-weiner-says-obamas-grandmothers.html

Posted by: scootmandubious | November 17, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Sorry--I meant 2010, when McCain should retire himself from the Senate.

Posted by: jm917 | November 17, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

For the people here suggesting that Obama appoint McCain to the cabinet: No, he is simply not cabinet material, and I'm certain that Obama knows it. McCain's too much the volatile "mavarick"--another "diva," indeed. Everything about the man's past suggests that he has no idea about how to run a huge and complicated organization such as V.A., D.H.S., or the Pentagon. He couldn't even run his own presidential campaign! Plus he is definitely at retirement age.

Let's hope that McCain stays in the Senate for the rest of his term and tries to recoup his tarnished reputation as an aisle-crossing deal-maker on some big issues that need solutions, especially immigration. That's where his talents lie.

In 2012 I hope he leaves public life and has Salter write another book for hims, while Gov. Napolitano gets herself elected to the Senate.

Posted by: jm917 | November 17, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ignorance- based on your writing, I can see why you think Palin was a good choice. So I say, Palin 2012- you keep pushing that- we "Libral Extremists" are all for her as the Republican candidate in 2012.

Posted by: silverspring25 | November 17, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

McCain will revert to form, working with whomever is on his side of the issues. He'll work with the Obama administration on issues like the environment & immigration, but will challenge them on the budget, Iraq & possibly health care. The 'gang of 14' won't likely be necessary in the new Senate, but Obama is smart enough to see the value in having McCain serving in that kind of role.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 17, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

more nonsense from 'kevin james with glasses'

Posted by: praxitas | November 17, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Only in a bizarro McCain candidate world would this story be written. That nobody (especially McCain) knows what his beliefs are speaks volumes for himself and the Republican party. There for a brief timeslice McCain was 'the enemy' but now he's right back where you Dems want him: the perfect patsy. *Sigh* I can just see this in November 2004: 'Kerry: Deal Maker or Loyal Opposition'. I think I'm gonna puke.

Posted by: myersj1 | November 17, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

McCain

Hopefully he will retire and appoint a real Republican to his Senate Position.

Sarah Palin only increased the amount of Votes that McCain recevied. It of course was very engraging to the Liberal Extremists, and that by far is a good sign that you have a good person on your team.

McCain was unadored by most of the Republican Party. He is not the Candidate we were looking for. He is a great patriot and served his Country with honor and pride. He however, is not what this Country Needs, though I don't think he would have done as much damage to the United States as what is possible under a Liberal Extremist like Obama.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | November 17, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I always remember asking for things from the back seat when I was a kid. My parents always answered "We'll See". Only after seeing an episoide of the Simpsons did I finally realize that meant NO.

Obama to the people - "We'll see".

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk - So you mean Obama will be able to deliver on all his promises if we're just willing to wait an extra sixty days for them? After eight years of crap, I can wait two months! Sounds great! :-D

To quote Bob Weir, "If you want something for nothing, j___ off!"

Posted by: treetopflyer | November 17, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Whether he works with Republicans or Democrats will probably have more to do with who he's ticked off at on that particular day.

Posted by: johnc_80 | November 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Retire in 2010 - in the meantime, he is working on his book about how the 2 S's- Sarah and Schmidt lost him the presidency.

Posted by: silverspring25 | November 17, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- Malia and Sasha Obama will have to wait at least two more months for that puppy their dad promised them.President-elect Barack Obama said on Election Night that he had promised his young daughters that they could get a dog once the race was over.But the pup won't become part of the first family until after they move into the White House on Jan. 20.

just the first in a long line of promises that will have to wait. Get used to it.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 17, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

What about a cabinet position - maybe even Health and Human Services (he did support the Health Parity bill), Veteran's Affairs, or someothing related to immigration? He and Obama would add to their records of bipartisanship and he would be a player again.

Furthermore for the political junkie that I am, Gov Napolitano could name former Congressman Jim Kolbe (the openly gay republican) to the Senate and then run as the favorite for the seat in 2010.

Come on, this would be great for EVERYBODY!

Posted by: stpaulsage | November 17, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

After listening to the first Presidential debat, I believe that John McCain would be an excellent choice for VA Secretary.

Posted by: sourpuss | November 17, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The question of what role McCain plays will be decided at the first cloture vote of the new senate.
Republicans responded to their loss of a majority in the senate by simply grinding teh body to a halt. Their record-number of filibusters included many on simple procedural votes.

Posted by: F_L_Palmer | November 17, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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