In a chamber once known for cordiality if not outright gentility, McCain has battled his fellow senators for more than two decades in a fashion that has been forceful and sometimes personal. Now, with the conservative maverick on the brink of securing his party's presidential nomination, McCain's Republican colleagues are grappling with the idea of him at the top of their ticket.
"There would be a lot of people who would have to recalibrate their attitudes toward John," said Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), a supporter of Mitt Romney's who has clashed with McCain.
Many Senate Republicans, even those who have jousted with McCain in the past, say their reassessment is underway. Sensing the increasing likelihood that he will be the nominee, GOP senators who have publicly fought with him are emphasizing his war-hero background and playing down past confrontations… But others have outright rejected the idea of a McCain nomination and presidency, warning that his tirades suggest a temperament unfit for the Oval Office.
"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), also a senior member of the Appropriations panel, told the Boston Globe recently. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
A former colleague says McCain's abrasive nature would, at minimum, make his relations with Republicans on Capitol Hill uneasy if he were to become president. McCain could find himself the victim of Republicans who will not go the extra mile for him on legislative issues because of past grievances.
"John was very rough in the sandbox," said former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who is outspoken in his opposition to McCain's candidacy. "Everybody has a McCain story. If you work in the Senate for a while, you have a McCain story. . . . He hasn't built up a lot of goodwill."
Monday, February 04, 2008
Today’s Washington Post provides an interesting perspective on how John McCain is viewed by some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. While his “maverick streak” has earned quite a few enemies amongst the Republican base, it’s apparent that his style and legendary temper have certain Republican Senators a bit uneasy about a McCain presidency.