Reed Galen makes a very good case that Barack Obama has done some industrial-strength sucking up to John McCain in the hopes that McCain will return the favor and help bust any potential Republican filibuster.
I find the theory very credible. McCain is a sucker for ego-stroking moves, especially ones that play to his power in the Senate. As we saw from his Gang of 14 ploy that took the filibuster out of the hands of Republicans a couple of years ago, he’s not beyond creating his own center of power outside of his party’s caucus. It’s not going to shock anyone if McCain builds a small coalition of the usual suspects and held up close votes until the party leaders paid him Don Corleone-level respect.
Galen attributes the potential alliance to Obama’s keen political skills. I disagree only because it doesn’t take keen observation skills to see that though you can’t buy McCain with campaign cash, you certainly can with political power.
Johnny Mac is up for re-election in 2010. It would be a very good thing if he found himself having to defend his seat from a well-supported, credible candidate. It would be even better if he found himself unemployed in 2011. There is no place in the Republican Party for a selfish powermonger, especially one who goes out of his way to kick dirt on conservative values.