Republican Sen. John McCain is a walking contradiction, antagonizing President Barack Obama over foreign policy one minute, cooperating with the Democrat the next on immigration and the budget.
So who is the real McCain?
There’s the national security expert pounding the Obama administration with words like “cover-up” and “incompetence” over the deadly assault in Libya last September, snarling about the administration’s lack of backbone on Syria and ripping into Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel over the Iraq war.
But there’s also the Arizona lawmaker reviving his past bipartisan effort on immigration by reaching out to Obama, the man who beat him for the presidency in 2008, as well as several Senate Democrats. Frustrated with the endless cycle of fiscal crises, McCain recently was part of a small group of GOP senators to talk budget at a dinner with the president.
In the first months of the year, McCain as friend or foe has given Washington whiplash. The swings seem even more pronounced as the 76-year-old lawmaker, perhaps in his last term, relishes more independence while Obama, also unencumbered electorally, pursues an ambitious second-term agenda.
The white-haired, fast-moving McCain – presidential candidate in 2000 and 2008, and congressman and senator for some three decades – insists that he has been consistent all along, working with any president while being outspoken when he has differences with the nation’s leader. Short-hand interpretations, McCain says, miss the mark of a man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
CONTINUED at the Huffington Post.