Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.
In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.
Democrats had contacted Jeffords and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in the early months of 2001 about switching parties, but in McCain’s case, they said, it was McCain’s top strategist who came to them...
Daschle noted that McCain at that time was frustrated with the Bush administration as a result of his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 Republican primary.
Daschle said that throughout April and May of 2001, he and McCain “had meetings and conversations on the floor and in his office, I think in mine as well, about how we would do it, what the conditions would be. We talked about committees and his seniority...[A lot of issues] were on the table.”
If true, this takes the term "Maverick" to a whole new level. It'll put a bullet in the head of his presidential campaign, too.
McCain's people are all denying this strenuously, of course. But, they would, wouldn't they?
I'm sure more information will come out in the very near future about this, nailing down the truth of the whole thing, but, you know, it's at least plausible.
Mr. McCain strikes me as a politician with an overweening sense of his own importance, and I believe that, if he felt that switching to the Democrats' side of the aisle would increase his political power or prestige, he might have just done it, especially after the bad feelings engendered by the 2000 republican primaries.
Admittedly, I don't much like John McCain, so I hope it's true. It'd put the permanent kibosh on any chance that he could become president. That would make me smile. And probably even giggle a little bit in an unseemly way.
I'll be keeping an eye on this one, to see how it pans out.
Why would the former Democratic Senate Leader wait six years to reveal that Senator McCain was considering a party switch? Then again, why would he lie now?
This consideration of switching parties is lose-lose for Senator McCain’s presidential campaign, whether true or not. He’ll never fully recover; his flirtation with becoming a Democrat just sounds too much like the man to be dismissed out of hand by Republican voters next year.
So, this McCain expose vastly improves Senator Thompson’s appeal as a running mate for Rudy in 2008, unless Republicans pick a woman to be on the ticket when taking on Hillary.
If you step back and take a long view of the Presidential "campaign" as it is evolving, even at this early stage, one observation begins to show a trend.
Whoever is running for the Democrats gets generally positive coverage from all forms of the media. What negative there is tends to focus on minor differences in their approach to policy between the Dems.
But call out one name among the Republican front runners and one negative hit after another is registered by the media. There is not one Republican front runner who has not had a "height of the campaign" hit piece done on him by one left wing smear merchant or another. Romney has taken hit after hit for being Mormon! Guiliani has recently had hit pieces attacking his personal life. Gingrich, who isn’t even in the race, has had peices written on him from his day as the Speaker of the House. And the list goes on and on.
In this particular case, it would seem a lot more likely that this would have come out during the ’04 elections when McCain was effectively campaigning for Bush. In some ways it is even believable but the timing seems really screwy. But when you consider that McCain himself has admitted to running slow on camapign financing, this may be viewed as one way to take him out early and keep him on the outs.
It seems MSM has learned some sort of lesson from the ’00 and ’04 Presidential camaigns: Don’t wait until the last minute to try and put the screws to the Republicans. Sew up the race early - keep putting nails in the Republican coffin to the point where even a Ralph Nader "Green Party" candidacy would have a better chance.
"Whoever is running for the Democrats gets generally positive coverage from all forms of the media. What negative there is tends to focus on minor differences in their approach to policy between the Dems."
Oh yes, yes. Naturally. Because, of course, all the MSM coverage of Al Gore which painted him as a serial and self-aggrandizing liar (the littlest amount of research will prove that he NEVER claimed to have "invented the internet), and the MSM giving total and complete validation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (and by Truth we mean Lies) was a total journalistic bj of Democrats.
For the love of g-d why does ANYONE still buy into the myth of the liberal media? The supposedly liberal Washington Post was one of the Iraq War’s biggest cheerleaders. Conservative guests vastly outnumber liberal ones on supposedly liberal CNN, and are all lobbed softball questions. The supposedly liberal New York Times and NPR claimed Bush had a "mandate" after he beat Kerry by the whopping sum of 1.8% of the vote in 2004. Hell; the MSM gave Bush the kid glove treatment through the first six years of his administration! Haven’t you been paying attention?
For the record, the next time anyone complains to you about the "liberal media," do me a favour. Hit them in the face with a pan.
Well, from the looks of things it is no wonder the "New York Times and NPR claimed Bush had a "mandate" after he beat Kerry by the whopping sum of 1.8% of the vote."
An unpopular President, leading the country in an unpopular war, facing the very same "soft ball" MSM that shoots Rathergate and other goodies at his re-election efforts - no wonder with all of that and he still won by 1.8% you could view it as a mandate! And when you talk about soft-ball questions, look back at Kerry’s interviews by __________ (fill in the blank) during the electin.
I made an observation, not a condemnation of MSM. If you want to counter the observation, then do so. Show me an example that refutes the observation. Give me reason to believe there is an even handed approach to the news of the Candidates of today. Show me where MSM reports something other than "minor differences in their approach to policy" in their reporting of the various announced Democratic Presidential candidates. (Note: Oh, and by the way, reporting on the "serial and self-aggrandizing liar" Gore does not enter the arena - Gore has not announced his candidacy and in fact has stated on numerous occasions he is not a candidate.)
Insolenttomato, the only one delusional regarding the bias of MSM is you! The only one who needs to be hit in the face with a pan is You! But don’t be too hasty - because if you are the one selected to be the apologist for MSM and if that is the best you can do then my point has been truly made!