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Friday, June 11, 2004

McCain's Gambit 

John McCain has apparently rejected overtures from the Kerry camp to run as VP on a Democratic ticket. The move is hardly surprising given his previous comments on the matter.

But beyond the obvious problem of party affiliation, why the cold shoulder? If this op-ed in the Washington Post is any guide, McCain doesn't see eye-to-eye with Kerry on numerous issues, ranging from North Korea to gays in the military - and these differences, it seems, are irreconcilable.

All of that may be true, but I'm not totally convinced. My feeling is that McCain still has designs on the presidency - his statements to the contrary notwithstanding - and doesn't want to throw in his lot with Kerry lest he spoil his chances of getting the top job in 2008. After all, if McCain were to join Kerry on the Democratic ticket and then succeed in unseating Bush, it would be unthinkable for McCain to turn around and challenge his boss for the presidency at the next election in 2008 (assuming Kerry stands for re-election). And what's more, 2012 probably wouldn't be a viable option for McCain either, given that he would be 76 years old and in the sunset of his career.

If the logic above is correct, McCain's current strategy makes perfect sense. By spurning Kerry's overtures and biding his time, he'll have the option of running for president in 2008 regardless of who wins this November. Time will tell if that's his plan after all.

Comments:
Whee, first!

That aside,

Would McCain joining Kerry have been supremely beneficial with regards to Kerry gaining the presidency? If so, I'd figure that a 'guaranteed' vice-presidency isn't something to scoff at.

Party affiliation is almost nothing to worry at this point, given that they already offered... he'd risk losing the support of the Republican-only population, but wouldn't it create more bridges than anything?

I'd have to agree mostly with the idea that the differences were too great; it seems like even if he were to join, his input is a little too far in the range of 'incompatible' than is desired, or even manageable to properly work with on important issues and still have a cohesive government. No unity at the top just can't be a good thing for the people below.

I'm just idly speculating. I'd like nothing better for them to come together and be able to compromise (ideally landing on positions that I hold) both to their satisfaction and the benefit of the public. Dreams are a little too good to let go of easily.
 
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