TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Obama, McCain: Rivals to partners

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, July 27, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — There was no conciliatory phone call, no heart-to-heart talk to soothe the tensions. No one knows exactly when President Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain went from bitter rivals in the 2008 presidential campaign and foes over health care and national security to bipartisan partners.

Yet in recent months, an alignment on high-profile domestic issues — not to mention an eye on their respective legacies — has transformed Obama and McCain into Washington's most unexpected odd couple. The Arizona senator is a regular visitor to the West Wing and in near-daily contact with senior White House officials.

McCain, in an Associated Press interview, said that he and Obama “trust each other.” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, among the Obama advisers who speak regularly with McCain, praised the lawmaker as a “refreshing” partner who “welcomes a debate and welcomes action.”

Like any good business arrangement in the nation's capital, the secret to the new Obama-McCain alliance ultimately comes down to this: Both sides believe that working together is mutually beneficial and carries little political risk.

For Obama, the senator has become a rare Republican backer of important elements on the president's second-term agenda, including immigration overhaul, stricter background checks for gun buyers and perhaps a fall budget deal.

In return, McCain has secured increased access to the White House and an opportunity to redeem his reputation as a Capitol Hill “maverick.” That image was tainted when McCain tacked to the right during his failed 2008 presidential run against Obama.

“I've told the people of Arizona, I will work with any president if there are ways I can better serve Arizona and the country,” McCain said. “That seems to be an old-fashioned notion, but it's the case.”

Indeed, the level of attention lavished on a functional working relationship between the Democratic president and the Republican senator underscores how rare such partnerships have been during Obama's tenure.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Supreme Court allows Obamacare’s Medicare costs board to stand
  2. Homeland Security official improperly helped foreign investors in visa cases, inspector general says
  3. Gun used by agent who helped jail Capone headed to museum
  4. JetBlue computer outage causes delays for passengers
  5. Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
  6. Christie rails against high N.J. estate tax
  7. Boston police officer improving after surgery to remove bullet near ear
  8. Drownings in Rio Grande spike as enforcement surges
  9. Highway Patrol: 8 dead, 10 injured when Florida van crashes
  10. Run from Cuba, Americans cling to claims for seized property
  11. Doctors push end-of-life care talks