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Thursday, March 29, 2007
There's a Compound Word for This Story

And the first half of it is bull.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

In interviews with The Hill this month, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and ex-Rep. Tom Downey (D-N.Y.) said there were nearly two months of talks with the maverick lawmaker following an approach by John Weaver, McCain’s chief political strategist.

Democrats had contacted Jeffords and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) in the early months of 2001 about switching parties, but in McCain’s case, they said, it was McCain’s top strategist who came to them.

At the end of their March 31, 2001 lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Bethesda, Md., Downey said Weaver asked why Democrats hadn’t asked McCain to switch parties.

This is an attempt by the Democrats to sabotage a Republican presidential candidate, and nothing more. Get this bit:

Daschle said that throughout April and May of 2001, he and McCain “had meetings and conversations on the floor and in his office, I think in mine as well, about how we would do it, what the conditions would be. We talked about committees and his seniority … [A lot of issues] were on the table.”

Absolutely not so, according to McCain. In a statement released by his campaign, McCain said, “As I said in 2001, I never considered leaving the Republican Party, period.”

Some of the meetings Daschle referred to are detailed in the former senator’s 2003 book.

Let me go out on a limb here and guess that the book does not talk about the meetings being over McCain leaving the GOP.

The media are pushing this story because they are fully invested in the notion that McCain was angry over his supposedly shabby treatment by the Bush campaign.

Over at Hugh Hewitt's blog, Dean Barnett buys into the notion that McCain's campaign is floundering.

It’s hard to see how the already floundering McCain can survive the revelation that not only did he consider switching to the Democratic caucus in 2001, his people approached the Democrats to begin conversations on the matter. By way of comparison, Lincoln Chafee and ultimate turncoat Jim Jeffords only began to mull treason after entreaties from the Democrats to do so. When you come out looking like a worse Republican than Lincoln Chafee and Jim Jeffords, it can’t be good.

Of course, the campaign that's floundering is the one that Hewitt is pushing with his book, A Mormon In the White House? Mitt Romney is doing so poorly that some polls have him within the margin of error of having ZERO percent support.

The Power Line guys smell the BS:

With hindsight, the thought of McCain in the Democratic Party is ludicrous. Imagine a pro-life Joe Lieberman, and you're still only part way there. Given the way the Democrats have abandoned the war effort both in Iraq and globally, whatever grievances McCain has had against the Bush administration over the years are relatiely insignificant.

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