The Other John McCain

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Other John McCain

GOP Senator John McCain has a pretty good public image, one he has meticulously nurtured over the years. The role of maverick tends to play well in public opinion. But this article in The Hill reminds us that McCain is just as capable of playing the game as his less-sanctimonious colleagues:
Good-government advocacy groups working on lobbying reform say their longtime ally Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has played a smaller leadership role on the issue than they had expected.

McCain’s lower-than-hoped-for profile on the sensitive subject coincides with what prominent lobbyists describe as a quiet effort by his political team to court inside-the-Beltway donors and fundraisers in preparation for a possible 2008 presidential run.

Though the coincidence may raise questions about why McCain is not being more outspoken about lobbying reform, a senior Republican strategist dismissed any link between McCain’s involvement in the reform effort and his presidential ambitions.

“I suspect the lobbying reform isn’t tied to that,” said the strategist, who observed that it would be difficult for McCain to help forge an 11th-hour compromise between the parties or the House and Senate if he takes a staunch position at this early point in the debate. “He wants to ride in to save the day on lobbying reform.”
Timing is everything, especially in politics.

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