Naturally, the Times extolled this recent courtship of McCain as unprecedented bipartisanship on the part of Obama, saying "it is just one step in a post-election courtship that historians say has few modern parallels".
Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend of McCain, who attended one of these consultations, said "he and Mr. McCain were convinced that Mr. Obama was genuinely interested in working together with them on both domestic priorities and foreign policy."
"Not only is it good politics,' Mr. Graham said, "it gives you an insight into who we are dealing with."
But of course, Obama's courtship of McCain has nothing to do with bipartisanship. Quite the contrary, Obama - mindful of McCain's history of dissension with republican lawmakers and keenly aware of the significant sway that the Arizona senator holds over Republicans in the senate - is simply using McCain as a convenient tool to further his own leftist agenda.
But lest you fall for the New York Times propaganda and its extolment of Obama as the ultimate bipartisan pol, let me remind you what Sen. McCain had to say about Obama's so called bipartisanship back in February of 2006. The following excerpt - from the Hotline blog - was written well before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency. [I linked to this piece back in September]:
An outraged Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today called Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) insincere and partisan, suggesting the Illinois freshman as much as lied in private discussions the two had about ethics reform last week.Apparently, things have changed since 2006 and Sen. McCain is now acknowledging the error of his ways. Over time, Sen. McCain has come to realize that the president-elect is indeed a noble and bipartisan pol. Obama is the Messiah, after all, and sen. McCain is now one of Obama's most fervent and devoted acolytes.
"I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform were sincere," McCain wrote to Obama.
Obama attended a meeting with McCain and senators committed to a bipartisan task force on ethics reform. McCain left the meeting convinced that Obama was open to working closely together, according to an aide.
But the next day, Obama wrote McCain that he preferred his own party's legislation to a task force and suggested McCain take another look at the Democratic caucus's Honest Leadership Act, which does not have a Republican cosponsor.
McCain wrote: "When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership's preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable."
"Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter. ... I'm embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in political... to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won't make the same mistake again."
"I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party's effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn't always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator."
Good luck with that one, Sen. McCain.........
Update: Obama hosted a dinner for Sen. McCain at the Washington Hilton on Monday. The New York Times comments: "The dinner and Mr. Obama’s strong praise for his former rival seem like a down payment on the cooperation that Mr. Obama is hoping for on his legislative agenda. Having Mr. McCain on his side could go a long way toward greasing the skids."
That seems like a pretty cheap down payment and a real bargain for Obama! But apparently, Sen. McCain is in the market for a little bit of the limelight, and he'll take any form of downpayment he can get, as long as he receives his share of the glory and everlasting fame.