The Hamas-Loving McCain of Davos, Switzerland

Will the real McCain please stand up?

Is it the Dick Cheney-wannabe, who yesterday pandered to a gaggle of radical right-wing bloggers, saying Obama was unfit to be President. He claimed — a claim that was an outrageous lie — that Obama wanted to negotiate with Hamas.

Or is it Senator McCain of Davos, the man desperate to cozy up with European political and media elites talking of his own willingness to sit down with Hamas.

The story here, from a James Rubin op-ed (Mr. Rubin is a strong Hillary Clinton supporter) in yesterday’s Washington Post:

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."

For some Europeans in Davos, Switzerland, where the interview took
place, that’s a perfectly reasonable answer.
But it is an unusual if
not unique response for an American politician from either party. And
it is most certainly not how the newly conservative presumptive
Republican nominee would reply today. (emphasis added)

Some enterprising blogger ought to get and post that footage of Senator McCain of Davos, desperately seeking the approval of folks like Tom Friedman and Joe Klein. Might be our "windsurfing" video of 2008.

UPDATE — of course, turns out the Jed Report already has the footage:

Some candidates, when they run for President, do indeed lose their bearings. Their thirst for power and glory becomes so overwhelming they forget who they are, what they stand for.

We’ve seen it with one candidate in the Democratic primary, and now we’re seeing it with the supposedly-maverick and independent John McCain. As an Obama supporter, one of the things I’m most proud of is that he’s kept his cool, and mostly stayed true to his cause and his beliefs. Here’s his response to McCain and Bush: