The Tug of War Over John McCain's Soul

Neocons, pragmatists battle for influence with Republican candidate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 1:49 PM CDT
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Dr. Henry Kissinger talk during a visit to Kissinger's Manhattan office in New York Tuesday morning, April 24, 2007.    (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – Republican “pragmatists” are growing uneasy seeing John McCain consorting with prominent neoconservatives, the New York Times reports. They fear McCain’s foreign policy isn’t as crystallized as it seems, and could be influenced by neocon advisers like John Bolton. “It might be too strong to say a fight is going on over John McCain’s soul,” one said, “but I’m worried that it’s taking place.”

McCain is a longtime friend of realists like Henry Kissinger, but in his support for the Iraq war, he is championing the neocons’ most prominent cause. “A struggle over individual policies I could imagine,” said one of McCain’s neoconservative advisers, But “this is not one of those situations like Bush all over again, with some titanic struggle going on.”