McCain: People are begging me to run for president again

It’s sad that Maverick’s taking this idea just seriously enough that he’d think to mention it to another human being. He’s 77 years old, ran a famously chaotic campaign in 2008 before getting crushed on election day, and would face a much stronger, younger field in the primaries than he did last time. That he forced me just now to devote even half a second of thought to how he might stack up against the 2016 contenders is frankly embarrassing, and something for which I’ll never forgive him. It’s like watching a 60-year-old pitcher announce that he’s thinking of coming out of retirement, if his career highlight had been getting shelled in Game Seven of the World Series.

But — on an egregiously slow holiday news day, this is manna from heaven. I’ll make him a deal: I promise him my endorsement if he chooses Mitt Romney for VP.

“Particularly since the shutdown, I’ve had a spate of e-mails and letters and phone calls saying, ‘Run for president again,'” McCain told The Arizona Republic. “As you know, I’m seriously thinking about running for re-election to the Senate. But I think, in the words of the late Morris K. Udall, as far as my presidential ambitions are concerned, ‘The people have spoken — the bastards.'”…

While even McCain agrees that another presidential candidacy seems far-fetched, Bruce Merrill, a veteran Arizona political scientist and pollster, told The Republic he has fielded multiple calls from out-of-state reporters this year investigating the possibility. McCain was critical of the GOP strategy to try to defund President Barack Obama’s health-care law, resulting in a partial government shutdown. McCain emerged with better national poll numbers than others associated with the crisis, including “tea party”-style U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

“I can assure you, I don’t see it,” said McCain, who will turn 80 in 2016. “It’s not on my radar.”

Two possibilities. One: The letters urging him to run are secretly being sent by Cindy McCain and Meg to boost his spirits. “America needs you more than ever, dad Sen. McCain.” Two: Maverick’s exaggerating the clamor for him to run again as a way of sticking it to the “wacko birds,” to highlight public annoyance over the “defund” strategy. He made a similar point a few weeks ago when he said he was thinking of running for reelection to the Senate. It was the business community, he specified, that was urging him to do so, no doubt for fear that Arizona might otherwise send a tea-party Republican to the Senate who’ll be more willing to to shut down the government again than Maverick is. Claiming that they want him to run for president too is, I guess, his way of emphasizing that parts of the GOP coalition are so alarmed by conservative brinksmanship that they’d actually be nostalgic for — shudder — McCain 2008.

Here’s hoping that he throws caution to the wind and jumps in to do battle with Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. It’ll be the first time in American history that the phrase “you little sh*t” is used at a debate. Exit question: Could he maybe be thinking of challenging Hillary in the Democratic primary instead?

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Video