Remember this week: History may record it as the only time in his presidency that Barack Obama was glad John McCain stayed in the Senate after losing the 2008 presidential race to him.
Ever since that election, McCain has delighted in sticking it to the White House whenever he’s gotten the chance, broadcasting his displeasure with seemingly every action Obama has taken, joining in just about every GOP filibuster of Obama’s agenda, and generally destroying the reputation as a principled maverick he once enjoyed. When the two have crossed paths in public, McCain hasn’t even tried to mask his ill will toward Obama. It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago the Arizonan was every Democrat’s favorite Republican, to the point that some dreamed of him joining John Kerry’s 2004 ticket; today, McCain is universally seen on the left as nothing more than a sore loser.
All of which makes McCain’s posture on Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Defense secretary somewhat remarkable.