Clinton backer James P. Rubin has an op-ed in today's Washington Post that's bound to generate plenty of discussion. "Two years ago, just after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News's 'World News Tonight' program. Here is the crucial part of our exchange: I asked: 'Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?'"
"McCain answered: 'They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.'"
The Huffington Post has video of the interview:
There's also plenty of discussion of McCain's "2013" speech yesterday. The Washington Post writes that McCain "offered for the first time what he hopes will be an end date for the war in Iraq, part of a vision he presented in which his policies lead to peace and prosperity at home and abroad by 2013, the end of what would be his first term as president… The Iraq comments appeared designed to blunt the political toll of the presumptive GOP nominee's unwavering support for the unpopular war. Democrats have spent months pillorying McCain for saying that U.S. troops could remain in Iraq for as long as 100 years -- a reference the candidate later said was intended to describe an American presence like those in Germany or South Korea."
The New York Times: "Despite his mention of a specific year for the end of American combat operations, Mr. McCain and his aides strenuously argued afterward that his remarks should not be interpreted as promoting a timetable for withdrawal, even implicitly, and that he was simply projecting victory. 'I am certainly not putting a date on it,' Mr. McCain said with exasperation during a circular, semantic debate in the back of his campaign bus."
"Mr. McCain took issue when a reporter said the candidate had asked everyone to go along on a 'magic carpet ride' to 2013. 'I don't think it has anything to do with fantasy,' Mr. McCain said pointedly. 'I think it has everything to do with setting goals and achieving.'"
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell on NBC's Nightly News last night: "Today in the battleground state of Ohio, John McCain offered a sweeping set of goals for a first term as president. But one key word was missing: Republican. McCain never mentioned his own party by name and instead promised this: 'I will ask Democrats to serve in my administration.' McCain advisors openly describe the Bush Republican brand as 'broken.' … So in a climate increasingly hostile to Republicans, McCain is trying to play the 'change' card and suggests ways he would be different than President Bush."
McCain speaks to the National Rifle Association's annual meeting today. But there are NO GUNS ALLOWED.
"Sen. John McCain secured millions in federal funds for a land acquisition program that provided a windfall for an Arizona developer whose executives were major campaign donors, public records show," USA Today reports. "McCain, who has made fighting special-interest projects a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, inserted $14.3 million in a 2003 defense bill to buy land around Luke Air Force Base in a provision sought by SunCor Development, the largest of about 50 landowners near the base. SunCor representatives, upset with a state law that restricted development around Luke, met with McCain's staff to lobby for funding, according to John Ogden, SunCor's president at the time."