John McCain . . . has proven that he's been wrong about every judgment he's made about the war. Wrong about the Iraqis paying for the reconstruction, wrong about whether or not the oil would pay for it, wrong about Sunni and Shia violence through the years, wrong about the willingness of the Iraqis to stand up for themselves, wrong even about his own judgment about timelines, etc. Which he's now changed.. . .Flip--John Kerry four years ago, according to the November 15, 2004, Newsweek:
There are very few people who walk around and say, `Going into Iraq was the right thing to do and we should've done it. I'd do it again if I had the chance.' John McCain does. John McCain believes this was the right decision. . .
I'm challenging Senator McCain's judgment, his judgment that says there's no violence history between Sunni and Shia. That's wrong. His judgment that says this is going to increase the stability of the Middle East. It hasn't. It's made it less stable. The judgment that says this will, quote "This will be the best thing for America and the world in a long time." It's the worst thing that we've done in a long time. And he's turned his eye away from Afghanistan and al-Qaeda and made America less safe. That's dangerous for our country.
He badly wanted Sen. John McCain to be his running mate. As far back as August 2003, Kerry had taken McCain to breakfast to sound him out: would the maverick Republican run on a unity ticket with Kerry? In the mid-'90s, the two Vietnam combat vets had forged a friendship, a brotherhood, while trying to calm down veterans groups obsessed over rumors about POWs and MIAs still alive in Vietnam. Kerry knew that McCain was still bitter over the dirty tricks played on him during the 2000 campaign by Bush mudslingers, who spread rumors that McCain had fathered a black child by a prostitute. Here was a chance for payback against Bush that would change history--not just a chance to get even, but much more grandly an opportunity to bridge the Red State/Blue State divide, break the Washington logjam and bring the country together.McCain, of course, has been famously consistent on the Iraq war. So, as Bill Hobbs says, Kerry was "For him before he was against him."
McCain batted away the idea as not serious. But Kerry was intent, and after he wrapped up the nomination in March, he went back after McCain a half-dozen more times. "I can't say this is an offer because I've got to be able to deny it," Kerry told his friend. "But you've got to do this." To show just how sincere he was, he made an outlandish offer. If McCain said yes, he would expand the role of vice president to include secretary of Defense and the overall control of foreign policy. (The deal was reminiscent of the so-called co-presidency offered to Gerald Ford by Ronald Reagan at the 1980 Republican convention; the suggestion fell apart of its own weight.) McCain exclaimed, "You're out of your mind. I don't even know if it's constitutional, and it certainly wouldn't sell."