I was originally going to title this diary "Could McCain seriously be thinking about running in 2012?" but that wouldn't be accurate. It's not that he's running, it's more like he's actively positioning himself to be the default choice if the right set of circumstances were to occur.
At present, there are FOUR viable GOP candidates for the nomination:
Romney: I suspewct that no matter what he does, his support will never rise above 30%, and it will soon be apparent to the GOP establishment that the base is not willing to swallow Mitt.
Cain: Doing very well of late, but has stumbled. Thoroughly likeable, and beloved by the base, I wonder if his support his solid, his strength isn't as firm as believed. Could he be sort of a "favorite son" vote for those GOP faithful being polled, because he's saying the right things, but they may not be totally convinced that he's the right person for the job. We shall see.
Perry: Rarely has a candidate come in on such a high, and fallen so far so fast. He has money, and an organization, and is now attempting to get back in the game. Jury' s still out on whether he can.
Gingrich: His obvious brilliance at the debates, and his willingness to remain above the intramural scrum, has resurrected a campaign that many pronounced dead month ago. He's having fun, and it shows, and people are responding to it. Still, there's a very long way to go.
Surfing through the Sunday talking head shows today, I suddenly realized , there was McCain again. He's been a regular most every Sunday for the past few months, and is also a visible presence near nightly on the cable news shows.
Which begs the question..why?
Coudl it be mere ego? No doubt he relishes his perceived position as a "senior Republican." And yes, he's one of the MSM's favorite Republicans, though mostly for his well documented history of going off the reservation and making life miserable for the GOP base.
Of late he's taken to lecturing his fellow Republican senators on the need to confirm Obama's nominations, telling them that blanket opposition to them could pose problems for a GOP president. Oh? who could that possibly be?
He's attempted to be the leader on foreign policy, spendign more time in the Middle East than in Arizona, and always willing to comment on events in the region. He's been fairly critical of Obama, but then just the other day pops off that we should consider leading ( from behind perhaps?) a "Libya-like" mission against the regime in Syria.
Suppose in the nest few months, the entire Mid-East goes off the rails. Muslim Brotherhood wins big in Egypt, attacks and violence against Copts intensify, hundreds are killed. Hamas and Hezbollah launch multiple rocket attacks against Israel. Hundreds are killed, including many children. Israel decided it can't wait any longer, strikes back hard in Gaza, and for good measurelaunches an attack against the Iranian reactors. Assad cracks down hard in Syria, undeeground video shows carnage...hundreds of dead. Turkey moves against Kurdish tribes. You can easily add more scenarios, all of which are plausible. The Saudi Defense Minister just dies, and the King could follow him any minute. Saudi Arabia could find itself in the middle of a succession battle, with fudamentalist terrorists attempting to gain a solid foothold in the Kingdom.
We could find ourselves committing troops in several areas., even being invitied back in to Iraq. Obama's conduct of foreign policy would be the major issue, and the Republicans ( and independents) might have serious reservations about choosing a Commander in chief with no experience in these areas.
So, could McCain be dreaming?..and if none of the four can achieve a majority, is it possible that the convention could turn to another choice. We dream of Palin, or Rubio, but in a time of a major conflagration in the Middle east, would the party, and the country, embrace another novice?
McCain is sounding, and looking more and more like a man who still harbors the dream, and he's positioning himself to be available should the opportunity present itself.
All of a sudden, foreign policy, and NOT jobs and the economy, will dominate the election. And we will find ourselves with a party not yet coalescesed around one, or even two candidates.