Would McCain support Hillary in 2016 if Rand Paul’s the nominee?

posted at 6:41 pm on May 2, 2013 by Allahpundit

On the one hand, I want to dismiss this as mischievous shinola-stirring by lefty Bill Scher and righty Matt Lewis. On the other hand, it seems … all too plausible, doesn’t it?

Ted Cruz hasn’t showed his cards on foreign policy yet but if he ends up tilting isolationist too, you could apply this same reasoning to his candidacy. Rand Paul wasn’t the only “wacko bird” named by McCain, after all.

More important but less noticed was McCain’s April 18 speech to the Center for New American Security that threw down the gauntlet against the Paul forces, lashing out against isolationism and calling for “a new Republican internationalism.” He concluded by lamenting, “There are times these days when I feel that I have more in common on foreign policy with President Obama than I do with some in my own party.”

Where might the “new Republican internationalists” go if Paul wins this intra-party battle? Considering that likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton helped engineer the U.N.-backed military coalition that ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and reportedly pushed Obama to directly arm the Syrian resistance, it’s not hard to envision a “Republicans for Hillary” campaign if the alternative is Rand Paul…

[I]f any contemporary politician might be willing to bet his political legacy on supplanting a wayward Republican Party with a new party, it would be John McCain. He has long branded himself a “Teddy Roosevelt Republican.”

Would McCain dream of doing that? Well, consider a few things. One: As Lewis notes, he’s buds with Joe Lieberman, who crossed his own party to support McCain on foreign policy grounds in 2008. There’s precedent here among Maverick’s own inner circle. Two: He’s also buds with Hillary Clinton. They’ve even been drinking buddies on Senate trips abroad. He wouldn’t have to put aside personal dislike to do this, unless his tough questioning of her on Benghazi caused a rift we don’t know about. Three: If he decides before 2016 that this is his last term in the Senate, he’ll have nothing to lose electorally by backing the Democrat. On the contrary, it’ll do wonders for his “legacy” within the media after falling out with them by running against St. Barack five years ago. Just look at his vote on background checks (one of only four Republicans to vote yes) and his renewed interest in amnesty. He’s re-building a brand. Four: McCain undoubtedly knows that some libertarians supported Ron Paul and even The One himself in 2008 out of disdain for Maverick, in great part because of his hyper-interventionism. Sticking it to Paul in 2016 by backing Hillary not only would strike a blow for “peace through strength,” it’d be revenge on a constituency that had little use for McCain either.

Lewis is right that Paul will try to make nice with McCain before the primaries precisely for this reason, but he can only go so far. The Paul election strategy depends on straddling Ron Paul voters and mainstream conservatives; to make McCain happy-ish on foreign policy would mean completely abandoning the Paulites, which he simply can’t do. Besides, with rumors of Cruz’s candidacy swirling, Paul has bigger worries than what Maverick is up to. Cruz is a major threat to him as an outlet for tea partiers who like Paul’s politics generally but don’t care for his dad’s; Cruz gives them most of the upside of Rand-ism without some of the potential downsides. Here’s the real question, though: How badly would it hurt Paul if McCain did endorse Clinton? It wouldn’t hurt at all among the base, which treats Maverick as an object of scorn, and few Republican pols apart from his sidekick Lindsey would follow him, but I think it’d hurt badly nonetheless. Having the elder statesman and former nominee announce that Paul’s foreign policy is a dealbreaker would give pause to plenty of low-information centrist Republicans and would serve as a rallying point for hawkish righty pundits to criticize Paul more aggressively. Some hawkish rank-and-file GOP voters might even relish the chance to make libertarians sweat for once about aisle-crossing and third-party votes on election day after two election cycles in which Ron Paul supporters threatened to stay home or vote independent. And of course the media will treat McCain’s defection as a political Super Bowl, even though on balance most of them are closer to Paul on foreign policy than to Maverick. It’s not an insignificant threat. I wonder if McCain’s already thinking about it.


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Hillary/Christie — 2016

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Perfect ticket for McCain, Ms. Lindsey and other assorted oafs and oafettes.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

He concluded by lamenting, “There are times these days when I feel that I have more in common on foreign policy with President Obama than I do with some in my own party.”

Traitor.
And thanx for your service.
Now just STFU and retire already.

burrata on May 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM

“I’m the wackobird whom the D/Rs hate” — Cruz 2016

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

If Hillary runs…..what female would the gop have to run against her?

Mmmmm

PappyD61 on May 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

For shame the people of AZ electe two incredible idiots to the senate.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Go right ahead. I’m sure his endorsement would do wonders for her if she should run. I’m hoping Benghazi will utterly destroy her politically well before 2016.

hawkeye54 on May 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

I am glad McCain lost.

He’s that bad.

PappyD61 on May 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

elected, repeatedly with the incontinent of the brain/pants McCain.

His grandfather and father abhor what he has become.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

What difference, at this point… lolz. Still not getting old… unlike McCain.

Thank you. Don’t forget to tip the wait staff.

Fallon on May 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

And the difference would be?

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Keep hearing Hilary! is ‘a shoo-in for 2016′.

Er….wasn’t Hillary! ‘a shoo-in’ in 2008?

And who the hell cares what McCain thinks? Other than his retiring.

GarandFan on May 2, 2013 at 6:47 PM

He seems to have a big problem with how benghazi was handled but I’m sure he would side with clinton anyway

JR on May 2, 2013 at 6:48 PM

If Hillary and Cruz were the nominees……she would weep in the debates and win the female vote in a landslide.

The gop needs to find a butchy female that women aren’t threatened by to run in 2016.

PappyD61 on May 2, 2013 at 6:49 PM

He probably will be running again in 2016. Could even speak at clinton’s convention.

JR on May 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Nah. Michelle Obama is going to do toss in. When she does Hillary will have a cooking show on ABC.

Limerick on May 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Nah. Michelle Obama is going to do toss in. When she does Hillary will have a cooking show on ABC.

Limerick on May 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM

If she weren’t such a lazy lardazz, and if she wouldn’t know that Barry will bring in billions, all based on nothing, she’d do it.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:52 PM

The Secret friendship of Hillary Clinton and John McCain

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:52 PM

The Obamas will support Deval or such, to have a front. The Obamas will lead from behind, as they always do.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

The Obamas hate the Clintons with passion, and vice versa.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

in that senario, i think there’s a decent chance. The buzzfeed pick up of the video hit piece on Paul felt to me like McCain..or someone like him. McCain hated Paul for his filibuster. McCain is an angry guy…and I bet he holds grudges.

he doesn’t need money, he’s got Cindy for that. He is loyal only to himself, and his ‘legacy’ as statesman/senator. I know that sounds like a bad joke…and he is

r keller on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

The only reason John “Complete the Border Fence” McCain wouldn’t support Hillary is because he is up for re-election in 2016. He becomes very conservative for three months before his re-election date.

bw222 on May 2, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Obama/Bloomberg, 2016. You heard it here first.

Limerick on May 2, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Of course McCain will go for Benghazi Hillary as he would figure she would be much more likely to get us into more muslim wars for muslims than Rand would. Not nearly as many as he would like, of course, but still more.

VorDaj on May 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Would McCain support Hillary in 2016 if Rand Paul’s the nominee?

Uh yeah…I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’m convinced McCain voted for Obama in 08.

Rogue on May 2, 2013 at 7:02 PM

I am glad McCain lost.

He’s that bad.

PappyD61 on May 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

And through all this Senator McCain has attained, and has created for himself serenity, and it is only his insanity that has kept him alive in his senility.

RasThavas on May 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Well, he supported Obama in 2008.

mchristian on May 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Would McCain support Hillary in 2016 if Rand Paul’s the nominee?

Well, if he does, I think the only posters that Hot Air will have left will be King Gold and the Proggies.

The rest of us will be reduced to blood-splatter by the ban-hammer.

Resist We Much on May 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM

He’s almost 77 and you are worried about what he will be doing if he reaches 81??

I say, let’s take a wait and see approach.

Blake on May 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Clinton/McCain ’12

portlandon on May 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

And of course the media will treat McCain’s defection as a political Super Bowl, even though on balance most of them are closer to Paul on foreign policy than to Maverick.

Rand’s foreign policy views are not that far from Ronald Reagan’s, whereas McCain’s are pretty much the opposite of Reagan’s.

1. The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.

2. If the decision is made to commit our forces to combat abroad, it must be done with the clear intent and support needed to win. It should not be a halfway or tentative commitment, and there must be clearly defined and realistic objectives.

3. Before we commit our troops to combat, there must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress.

4. Even after all these other tests are met, our troops should be committed to combat abroad only as a last resort, when no other choice is available.

- Ronald Reagan

McCain’s foreign policy views are pretty much like Hitler’s who also wanted to invade a whole lot of countries.

VorDaj on May 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Mac’s not going to go for the Rahm-Pelosi news conference snuggle pose, is he?

dissent555 on May 2, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Is there any doubt? That Crazy, Old, “I Wanna Be President” Lunatic will do anything and everything to get close to a Cabinet position. He can be Secretary of; Reaching Across the Aisle and Taking it in the Azz, How Many Votes do the Demorats Need and the I Will Do Anything To Screew the American People.

Tbone McGraw on May 2, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Well, if he does, I think the only posters that Hot Air will have left will be King Gold and the Proggies.

The rest of us will be reduced to blood-splatter by the ban-hammer.

Resist We Much on May 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Yeah, I remember the heated rhetoric on the blogosphere when Jim Jeffords handed over control of the Senate to the Dems because Bush didn’t invite him to a “teacher of the year” ceremony or something. This would be the nuclear version of that.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Big fat nothingburger. I couldn’t care less what McCain does or says. He loves him some LSM TV facetime and will do and say anything to keep getting it.

Marcola on May 2, 2013 at 7:22 PM

McCain endorses Shrillary, while Barack endorses The Mooch. Oh, and don’t think The Mooch isn’t going to run.

SouthernGent on May 2, 2013 at 7:25 PM

W H A T . . . . D I F F E R E N C E . . . . D O E S . . . . I T

. . . . M A K E . ? . ? . ? . ? . ?

listens2glenn on May 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

M c C a i n . . . . W H O ?

listens2glenn on May 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM

At this point.. what difference does it make?

H.R. Clinton will be 69 years old by the time the next election rolls around.

She already allowed herself to go to seed in front of the entire world. She gained a great deal of weight. She appeared at official functions without makeup, her hair dirty and clipped back with a large plastic clip or in an unkempt ponytail. To say her appearance was less than professional is an understatement.

Plastic surgery to appear younger and more vibrant is only effective if people don’t remember how old and decrepit you allowed yourself to become before the surgery. To suddenly rush out and get a head to toe make over puts H.R. Clinton at risk of an avalanche of ridicule and jokes that, in and of themselves, might bury her ambitions.

It is difficult for a man to get elected president. In recent history we elect tall men. We also don’t elect fat men. These men are obliged to pay an inordinate amount of attention to their wardrobe, since every detail of their appearance is scrutinized…and criticized. The way they speak, the tone of their voice, the mannerisms they display, or don’t… all is analyzed.

All of this, before a word of policy proposal or plan for governance, or discussion of background or record is uttered.

Part of the reason for this scrutiny is because the individual elected to the presidency will become person who most represent the nation to the rest of the world.

Frankly, I don’t see the ‘First Female President’ as a dowdy, matronly, tired, seedy, obese woman with no real experience governing, a minimal degree of experience as a lawmaker, a controversial, possibly scandal ridden, and largely failed, term at the State Department, whose rise in political circles stems simply from having been the First Lady by virtue of having been married to an impeached president for two terms.

thatsafactjack on May 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Are there really enough Ron Paul voters to warrant recognition as a demographic? (That’s a serious question by the way.)

angelat0763 on May 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM

thatsafactjack on May 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

bravo. good post.

SparkPlug on May 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM

He’s almost 77 and you are worried about what he will be doing if he reaches 81??

I say, let’s take a wait and see approach.

Blake on May 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Dude – his freaking Mom is still alive. Evil is strong.

angelat0763 on May 2, 2013 at 7:43 PM

whose rise in political circles stems simply from having been the First Lady by virtue of having been married to an impeached president for two terms.

thatsafactjack on May 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

I think that last sentence should read having been married to an impeached two-term impeached President. Otherwise those are some awfully long terms for the Clinton marriage.

Seriously though, I think you may be right. The Dems don’t feel compelled to run their fossils because it is there term. I’m more scared that they might actually recruit Mooch who makes Hillary Clinton look like Cordell Hull in comparison. After eight years of the rat-eared coward, we do not need his racist angry whore taking over.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Would McCain support Hillary in 2016 if Rand Paul’s the nominee?

Well, if he does, I think the only posters that Hot Air will have left will be King Gold and the Proggies.

The rest of us will be reduced to blood-splatter by the ban-hammer.

Resist We Much on May 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM

so freaking funny; King Gold and the Proggies.

We tried to warn everyone about the RINOs. They scrotched up everything just as planned.

SparkPlug on May 2, 2013 at 7:47 PM

If she weren’t such a lazy lardazz, and if she wouldn’t know that Barry BAMSTAHHHHHHH!!!!! YOU DA MANNNNNNNNNNN BAMMMMMMMY BABYYYY!!! LOVE YA BARRY OL BUDDY OL PALLLLLLL!!!!!! YAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Schay 2, 2013 aPM

cableguy615 on May 2, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz….why even invest any emotion into the presidential race. These two would be wiped up by the clintons. Hopefully Chris Christie will be the nom…he actually has a chance of beating hillary.

rubberneck on May 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

I once believed Hillary would be a shoe in …it’s hers if she wants it

But look at her. She’s got a lot of plastic surgery and about 100 pounds to lose if she plans to run

And no..McCain will not support if she does run

Dems found the winning ticket in 2008…and he is black. Expect a black man on the ticket…’her’ name isn’t hillary. His name is Cory Booker..or MA governor

Redford on May 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM

rubberneck on May 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

.
Chris Christie is, and would be another McCain-Romney.

Nominate ANYONE willing to publicly state (and genuinely mean it):

“Government is not the solution to the problem, Government IS the problem.”

listens2glenn on May 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I’m starting to think they implanted an anal probe in Crazy John while he was in the Hanoi Hilton, so every time he faces opposition he always lets the other Man on top. He takes it like a good POW and likes to say “thank you Sir,may I please have another.”

Tbone McGraw on May 2, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Hillary/Christie — 2016

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/hillary-clinton-chris-christie-clinton-global-initiative-90871.html

The featured guests are Rahm,Chelsea, Jack lew, Hillary and the big man.

BoxHead1 on May 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

She won’t run anyways. Kirsten Gildebrand will be the nominee.

can_con on May 2, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Hillary/ M. Obama 2016. By a landslide! Why Not? We have evolved into a land of stupidity proven by the last two POTUS elections.

they lie on May 2, 2013 at 8:36 PM

McCain’s up for re-election in 2016. He’ll be 81, but does anyone doubt he’s going to be in the Robert Byrd they’re-going-to-have-to-carry-me-out-of-the-Senate-on-a-stretcher mode 3 1/2 years from now?

That’s where it gets interesting, because if he opts to run for re-election he’s going to have to commit to something involving the Republican presidential candidate(s) during the primary campaign. He won re-nomination in 2010 by basically going against much of the stuff he had been pushing for before then, including immigration. If it becomes clear during the primary the Maverick is only going to support the GOP if certain candidates get the nomination and will bolt to Hillary if someone like Paul or Cruz were to win the nomination, could he get renominated for the Senate if he faced a credible conservative opponent?

jon1979 on May 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

I look for McCain to be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Democratic convention if Shrillary is the nominee. Either as a “bipartisan” Republican preaching “unity”, or because he’s done an Arlen and jumped parties.

The latter is especially likely if he faces any sort of primary challenge, especially from the Tea Party contingent. Simply put, he believes he is entitled to that Senate seat, and he’s not going to let any upstart take it away from him. Factor in his relationship with Harry Reid (which is probably closer than his relationship with The Flake), and he can count on a warm welcome and plenty of help as the new Democratic Senator from AZ.

It will be just one more example of why those inside the Beltway have more in common with each other than they do with the rest of us. And they like it that way.

It’s us they don’t care much for.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 2, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz….why even invest any emotion into the presidential race. These two would be wiped up by the clintons. Hopefully Chris Christie will be the nom…he actually has a chance of beating hillary.

rubberneck on May 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Yeah, Christie’s a shoe-in. Especially when the base stays home because the only difference between Christie and Bill Clinton’s trailer is about 300 lbs.

fitzfong on May 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

I do not think McCain would back Hillary at all..But on the other hand I don’t think he will “hug up” to Rand..I think he will just remain quiet..:)

Dire Straits on May 2, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Whomever is McShame’s primary opponent, if he should be so obtuse as to attempt another term, I shall give, wait for it, “liberally” to that person’s campaign.

To Sen. John McCain: good bye, good riddance, & happy trails in RINOland; in the future I hope, nay, pray, Cindy gets her hair done at least as the frequently as your pal, Obama, plays golf – all on the taxpayers dime of course…

GreatCommunicator on May 2, 2013 at 9:57 PM

I don’t think of McCain as a Republican anymore – as in ‘party of Lincoln’. He jumped that shark snake a while back.

Abraham Lincoln took on a mighty battle to preserve the nation. The McCain gang are selling it to the world.

He’s a globalist. He found his power trip in pretending to walk between two parties

McCain can use his Gang to do cross over work with the other party thus giving various GOP fakers excuses for not satisfying the voters.

McCain needs to have his ego stroked by Lindsey, Lindsey cashes in on being an amnesty puppet (money has to go somewhere) and McCain can play Dr Strangelove

If McCain got insulted enough he would support Hillary. But if that scared away little Lindsey, McCain won’t do it. He has needs

entagor on May 2, 2013 at 11:25 PM

It’ll be Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow. They’ll make Olberman the SecState and Morning Joe will be the SecDef as the ‘token’ republican. It’s a celebrity era.

trigon on May 3, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Are you asking if McCain would come out of the Closet?

PhillupSpace on May 3, 2013 at 4:13 AM

By being hawkish on the use of the military, McCain disguises the fact that he is a closet liberal!

PhillupSpace on May 3, 2013 at 4:17 AM

Anyone that would support the unmitigated, amoral horror that is Hillary Clinton for a position of leadership deserves nothing but contempt. McCain can’t be shoved into retirement soon enough.

RobertE on May 3, 2013 at 10:07 AM

For all you freking moderates out there.I think there are still enough of us conservatives left who held our noses and voted for your guys,McCain and Romney to insure that if you nominate Orca Christie,we will stay home and finally destroy the lesser of two evils party!

redware on May 3, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Of course he would; he is basically a Democrat.

Theophile on May 3, 2013 at 5:02 PM