Great news: McCain set to remake GOP in his own centrist image

Thus is a new generation of amnesty-supporting Republicans made. Can you feel the excitement?

It’s all part of an approach that is at odds with most other recent failed presidential nominees, whose immediate response to defeat was to retreat from the electoral arena. But those familiar with McCain’s thinking say he has expressed serious concern about the direction of the party and is actively seeking out and supporting candidates who can broaden the party’s reach…

In mid-September, McCain invited his favored candidates to the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan to rub shoulders with 40 of the senator’s top donors at a reception for the Arizona Republican…

McCain told POLITICO in a brief interview that he was determined to play a major role in the GOP’s rebuilding effort—beginning with the party’s 2010 campaign.

“I think it’s important, at this stage in my career, to try to support candidates that I think represent the next generation of leadership in the Republican Party,” the 73-year-old McCain said on his way to the Senate floor for a vote last week.

The main beneficiary of McCain’s largesse so far: Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk, whom you’ll remember for his crucial House vote in favor of cap-and-trade and who currently counts among his informal advisors one Steve Schmidt. Exit question: Given the demand there’ll be for Palin on the campaign trail once her book blows sky high, and given that she’s obviously going to position herself to Mitt’s and Huck’s right as the “true conservative” choice, aren’t we practically guaranteed a McCain vs. Palin proxy fight at some point? But where, oh where, is such a fight likely to take place?