Former Rivals Cozy Up on Inaugural Eve

Obama hails McCain as 'national hero'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 6:40 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama shakes hands with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at a dinner in Washington on Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama and John McCain buried the hatchet last night at a dinner honoring the Arizona senator, whom Obama called an "American hero." The president-elect praised McCain's bipartisan record and added, "John is not known to bite his tongue and if I'm screwing up, he's going to let me know." McCain vowed to cooperate with Obama "in the hard work ahead," and the two embraced.

The reception last night was one of three that Obama attended—the others were for Colin Powell and Joe Biden—and the president-elect had to leave before McCain made his remarks. McCain, who faces an election in 2010, said he was honored "to play a small role in the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, even if it isn't the one I had in mind a few months ago."