‘We kind of flirted, but didn’t go on a date…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Remember when the press hated John McCain?
During his 2008 candidacy, the late Arizona senator was excoriated for slinging mud and committing acts of double-speak against the anointed candidate Obama, all while the media bandied around salacious charges about an alleged affair with a lobbyist 30 years his junior.
Now, the king of political grandstanding, former Massachusetts senator and Obama Secretary of State John Kerry, has hopped on the bandwagon, saying he was for McCain before he was against him.
On Sunday, Kerry wistfully reflected that he had considered McCain as a running mate in his 2004 campaign against George W. Bush.
“We kind of flirted, but didn’t go on a date,” he told CBS News.
In retrospect, the career politicians, both failed presidential candidates who capitalized on their prominence as Vietnam “war heros” and weathered the shifting political trade-winds in D.C. by constantly revising their allegiances and positions, were two peas in a pod.
McCain, who bore a grudge against George W. Bush after a vicious 2000 primary battle, made common cause with Kerry during the 2004 campaign, as Kerry faced the incumbent Bush.
When Kerry, who had sold-out fellow Vietnam vets during his 1971 anti-war testimony before Congress, found his service record under attack by the group Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, McCain used his war-hero cachet to denounce the critics, calling their ad “dishonest and dishonorable.”
Unfortunately for McCain, Kerry didn’t return the favor three years later, using their past ‘flirtation’ instead to attack the Republican presidential contender.
McCain denied the charge, and the two briefly went back and forth over who courted whom.
Kerry (ironically, given his own Iraq war waffling) would continue attacking McCain as a flip-flopper throughout the 2008 race.
For that, however, McCain would return the favor during Kerry’s failed Iran negotiations.
As Politico’s Michael Crowley reported, he branded Kerry a “human wrecking ball” and said he had “accomplished nothing except mileage as secretary of state.”
The article cited an anonymous Kerry associate discussing the on-again, off-again relationship between the two senators:
“This has always been a volcanic marriage of two strong willed, proud guys who deeply respect each other, but sometimes drive each other absolutely crazy. It’s a real friendship, unlike so many of the cliched Washington variety … But this phase has been jarring. Kerry has been surprised by McCain’s public tirades. It’s crossed some lines that Kerry himself is always careful never to cross.”
Conveniently, Kerry recently garnered headlines for floating, or at least refusing to rule out, the possibility of another run in 2020.