Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why the heck are McCain's people denying that he didn't support Bush?

Recently, word has surfaced that in early 2001 John McCain said he did not vote for George W. Bush in 2000. This word first came from Arianna Huffington, and had reportedly been confirmed by one other who was present, but chose to remain anonymous.

Representatives for the McCain campaign, meanwhile, denied this. Yesterday, however, two more people who attended the same dinner went on-the-record to say yes, that was how they remembered it too.

The two more people? Brad Whitford, who played the role of Josh on "West Wing," and the great Richard Schiff, Toby on the same series (both deservedly Emmy-Award winners).

Now, I was going to link to this item with a headline like "A chance to mention a TV show I enjoyed (and continue to, on DVD), and make a politician I don't like look bad in one post? Woo hoo!"

But, something dawned on me as I was writing the above. According to most if not all of the math I've seen, McCain's support of a president most Americans are now deeply critical of is a big millstone around his neck.

So why not say, "No, I admit it, I did not want George W. Bush to be president in 2000 (like anyone's going to be surprised)?" Is it because of his cozying up to the president in the years since? Well, you don't have to be Leo McGarry to see a way out of that, and it's one I know Republicans are willing to use for political purposes:

9/11. All he has to do is say "no, I didn't support President Bush at first, at least not fully, but after September 11 (when the world changed), my opinion of him changed and evolved." He could even throw in a bit about how, as one who has sacrificed in war, he knows the importance of unity in wartime.

There's even an escape hatch in that for him to say (now that the wheel of public opinion has turned against Bush), that though he believed in the president, it saddens him to see how he's gotten the country buried up to its neck.

But, I'm probably crazy to think John "straight talk" McCain would ever say anything so devious...

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