Back in 2013, when such a universe still looked plausible, The New Republic asked Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) how he would react to a 2016 presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), a man he had famously derided as a “wacko bird.” “It’s gonna be a tough choice,” mused McCain. Clinton, he said, was a foreign policy “rock star,” while Paul represented “the isolationist, America-Firsters.”
At the time, I wrote that “given the depth of the interventionists’ commitment to blank-check executive-branch prosecution of war and American hegemony, no one should be surprised by the burgeoning Republicans For Hillary caucus.” Prescient! Less so was my prediction that if the GOP nominated Paul, McCain would give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. In fairness, that’s because it never occurred to me in a million years that the five-term senator would debase himself with yet another re-election at the ripe old age of 80. After all, he’s not exactly hard up for money, and his namesake father and grandfather died at ages 70 and 61, respectively.