In 2007, on this day the bipartisan Presidency of John Kerry ended with his tragic death in office and ironically, the elevation of VP John McCain caused such a political earthquake that just twelve months later, three parties would race for the White House.
A Stronger America
Co-written with Scott PalterFrom the outset, polling had strongly indicated that McCain was the only running mate who could overturn a Bush/Cheney re-election.
Driven by the desperate urge to keep Bush and Cheney from returning to office, leading Democrats were forced to agree. And ultimately, McCain was a controversial, some would say maverick, figure who could create a new bipartisan consensus for change.
- "...if John Kerry said that's who he wanted, and McCain - I'd encourage McCain to say yes. .... you know, we need some unity here, man. The red states and the blue states - we've got to have something to coalesce around here" ~ Joe Biden
- "I'm a big admirer of John McCain's" ~ Hillary Clinton
- He is a very bipartisan figure, he would be accepted by the Democratic party" ~ Dick Gephardt
A CBS poll showed a Kerry-McCain ticket destroying the Bush-Cheney ticket 53%-39%, other polls showed the ticket touching 60%. "John Kerry is a close friend of mine. We have been friends for years," McCain said on Good Morning America "Obviously I would entertain it". But McCain only broke his relationship with Bush over disagreements about reversing the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. And Kerry saw the opportunity to drive the wedge between the two Republican by offering McCain a super-ministry to oversee both defence and national security.
Political commentators would speculatively compare McCain's actual record in office with the probable actions of a Bush/Cheney second term. But by then the focus on neocons had been replaced by the emerging Tea Party led by Ron Paul, a grassroots movement would would surely have emerged more powerfully if Kerry-McCain had not regulated Wall Street and thus prevented a financial armaggedon in 2008. And on the left, the McCain-Lieberman ticket had to confront a resurgent left-wing led by the charismatic Illinois Sentator, Barack Obama..