Sen. John McCain has built his
entire political career after the Keating 5 scandal around being a MAVERICK. As such, he finds some value in joining with Democrats from time to time to get some legislation action. But he basically has two weeks to decide whether to keep up the pressure or save what’s left of his career. Please join me after the very conveniently placed jump-link for a more complete explanation.
If he’s interested in doing things that make this country better, he may well have to do it without being President. And thus the next two weeks is going to present him with a stark choice. If he keeps up this crap and goes forward with a scorched-earth campaign, then the chances of getting a Democrat (no, Lieberman does not count) to work with him on getting significant legislation passed are totally finished — even if he wins. And the hard-line Republicans will be less than enthused about working with him. Whatever good reputation he had (at least, the patina of being MAVERICKY) will be toast.
(Obviously: he could simply declare that he’s tired of this crap, and everyone will believe him. But, then again, he may still want in.)
If he tones it down — at least, after the last debate — he might be able to settle into a (very) senior statesman position and go for one last term in 2010. He may fail, but he’s got a chance to regain something of his reputation and influence things, somewhat.
The pull of the Presidency has consumed this man — literally. If it’s not looking good after the Bob Schieffer Prime Time House Party, McCain should do himself a favor and call off the dogs. (He won’t, though. Hubris rules the day. But he should.)