McCain Grins and Bears Far-Right Republicans

Front-runner cozies up to old enemies in effort to 'unify the party'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2008 8:00 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, shakes hands with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a news conference in Boston, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008, where Romney...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Playing presumptive GOP nominee means smiling a lot, in John McCain's case. Now that he's aiming to “unify the party,” he’s cozying up to far-right Republicans he can’t stand and putting his infamous temper on the shelf, the New York Times reports. He even called Mitt Romney "honorable" and remembered to flash a smile for the cameras when the ex-hopeful recently endorsed him.

McCain marvels at how many old enemies are backing him, like Senator Thad Cochran, who once said contemplating a McCain presidency “sends a cold chill down my spine.” Through it all, McCain is playing nice, a new role for the perennial insurgent. But "if he tries to be someone else, that’s a prescription for disaster,” one Republican strategist warned.