Alex's Outlook

Friday, April 02, 2004

John McCain shows his hand 


The big news in both the political and economic worlds is the payrolls surge in March (308,000 jobs added last month). Some of that is due to 75,000 strikers returning to work in California, but even without that it's a hefty gain. Great news for Bush, even though he probably had nothing to do with it, and the worst possible news for The Notorious JFK. (The consensus estimate was 123,000 jobs; 200,000 was on the wildly optimistic side.) Look for the media to start downplaying the quality of the jobs, now that it's no longer a "jobless recovery."

That said, there was another piece of news that I saw which slipped under the radar. It's much more ominous:

Sen. John McCain yesterday unleashed an attack on his own party, saying the GOP is ``astray'' on key issues and criticizing President Bush [related, bio] on the war in Iraq.

``I believe my party has gone astray,'' McCain said, criticizing GOP stands on environmental and minority issues.

``I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy,'' he said. ``But I also feel the Republican Party can be brought back to the principles I articulated before.''

The maverick senator made the remarks at a legislative seminar hosted by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) as he again ruled out running on a ticket with Democrat John F. Kerry [related, bio].

Sure, he again ruled out running alongside Kerry in 2004. But how could it not be tempting? McCain hates spending, but he hates tax cuts too. He is an ardent acolyte of the church of global warming. He could shift the balance of power, now leaning Bush, decisively in John Kerry's favor.

Call me crazy, but I think that was an announcement to the Kerry campaign that McCain's willing to entertain all offers. Kerry would be crazy not to consider it.

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