Last year I had a post (reprinted under the fold) reporting speculation that the rumors that John McCain had been asked to be John Kerry’s running mate actually started with McCain. MyDD has posted an interview with John Kerry in which Kerry reports that it was McCain who had approached him:
Jonathan Singer: There’s a story in The Hill, I think on Tuesday, by Bob Cusack on the front page of the paper talking about how John McCain’s people — John Weaver — had approached Tom Daschle and a New York Congressman, I don’t remember his name, about switching parties. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what your discussions were with him in 2004, how far it went, who approached whom… if there was any “there” there.
John Kerry: I don’t know all the details of it. I know that Tom, from a conversation with him, was in conversation with a number of Republicans back then. It doesn’t surprise me completely because his people similarly approached me to engage in a discussion about his potentially being on the ticket as Vice President. So his people were active — let’s put it that way.
Singer: Okay. And just to confirm, you said it, but this is something they approached you rather than…
Kerry: Absolutely correct. John Weaver of his shop… [JK aswers phone]
As McCain is unlikely to give an honest answer, we may never know for sure if McCain was really investigating the possbility of running with Kerry, or if this was just a ploy to get the media to run stories that this was under consideration to boost his reputation.
Two related posts I previously wrote at The Democratic Daily are reposted below the fold. Note that not only has McCain claimed that Kerry asked him to be running mate, but that McCain has also claimed that Bush has offered tihs. I haven’t been able to find a better source on line, but I also recall old stories in which McCain had claimed that he was Bush’s first choice before Dick Cheney.
Posted by Ron Chusid
March 3rd, 2006 @ 9:01 am
I’ve always suspected that the rumors of McCain running as John Kerry’s running mate began with McCain. He had also claimed in the past that he had been Bush’s choice but turned him down as he was not interested. Writing at The Huffington Post, James Broyce also believes that the stories about McCain running with Kerry started in the McCain camp:
Through a remarkable orchestration of behind-the-scenes politicking, John McCain’s advisors thrust him in the middle of the John Kerry Vice Presidential selection process – the McCain as VP rumors started not in the Kerry camp but in the McCain camp.
By elevating his status among Independents and Democrats, John McCain dramatically increased his appeal and political power. In fact, McCain currently outpolls some potential Democratic 2008 candidates among DEMOCRATS.
The possibility of McCain running as John Kerry’s Vice President forced Rove to deal with McCain. Because with the pending launch of the Swift Boat veterans teed up, Rove simply couldn’t let Kerry pick McCain. Two veterans, running together, unifying the country in a time of war would have been virtually unbeatable.
But would McCain have really switched and joined Kerry? The White House couldn’t afford to wait to find out. Was a true deal struck?.
Posted by Ron Chusid
March 3rd, 2006 @ 1:54 pm
The story earlier today that the rumors of a Kerry/McCain ticket came from the McCain camp has led to discussions in the blogosphere as many wonder how reliable this is, and whether to believe James Broyce’s speculation that this was part of a scheme for McCain to ultimately replace Dick Cheney.
While the second part is quite speculative, the report that the rumors of a Kerry/McCain ticket came from the McCain camp sounds true. I recall previous interviews in which McCain sounded like he was trying to build himself up with similar claims, such as that he turned down offers to run with George Bush in 2000. I’ve been trying to hunt down transcripts of this. So far I’ve found one quote from a conservative site monitoring the news. From an interview on CBS’s The Early Show with Hannah Storm:
Storm: “I know that you two are friends. Have you talked about it. Have you talked about this with Senator Kerry?”
McCain: “No. We are friends. Joe Lieberman is a friend of mine, also, as is John Edwards. You know, in America I think it’s still possible to have a friend if they’re in another party, at least I hope so. Look, I don’t want to be Vice President of the United States, I do not want to leave the Republican party, I would not be Vice President of the United States on either ticket. I told President Bush when he asked me in 2000 if, when he asked me if I was interested, I said I was not interested. I love being in the United States Senate and I am of the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. I can not categorically more state, answer no.”