While the Left has spent the last few days shedding tears over the passing of Arizona Sen. John McCain, it’s important to remember that their admiration for him hasn’t always been so evident.
In fact, Barack Obama and his supporters were downright hostile to McCain in 2008, when the aging senator dared to challenge the first black candidate for the presidency.
But no one plays the game of politics better than Obama, whose glowing statement reveals robust collegiality for his longtime adversary, even lauding McCain’s tragic war experiences as a test of courage.
“Few of us have been tested the way John once was or required to show the kind of courage that he did,” Obama said in a statement. “But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own.”
Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: pic.twitter.com/3GBjNYxoj5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2018
It is a far cry from his and his follower’s opinion of McCain back when McCain represented the last obstacle to his achieving the ultimate prize of the presidency.
General Wesley Clark, an ardent defender of Obama who was once considered for the role of vice president, scoffed at McCain’s war record, stating on “Face the Nation,” “I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”
In February 2008, the NY Times, the bible of the political left, wrote a smear piece which said in part that Lobbyist Viki Iseman’s relationship with Senator John McCain was not exactly professional, it was a long fake story about an affair that never happened. But McCain had the nerve to run against their guy, Obama. The Times article was so bogus that its own public editor, Clark Hoyt wrote a piece bashing the story. Ms. Iseman sued the Times who settled out of court. One of the elements was a non-apology sort of correction, “The article did not state, and The Times did not intend to conclude, that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with Senator McCain or an unethical relationship on behalf of her clients in breach of the public trust.” It ran a year later (2/4/2009) on page A4. In other words, anyone who noticed it should get a prize.
— Matt Welch (@MattWelch) March 14, 2018
Former Obama adviser Rand Beers attacked McCain saying his “isolation” during much of the Vietnam War (being a POW and tortured) meant that his national security experience was “sadly limited.”
Liberal blogger John Aravosis added to the reprehensible attacks saying, “Getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience.”
Aravosis was referring to a false confession drawn out of McCain after being tortured for multiple days and having his ribs broken in a North Vietnamese prison.
In a later blog post, Aravosis claimed Obama’s people asked him to do “all the dirty work” for the campaign.
What is now a test of courage and a sign of McCain’s strength was once a source of mockery among his political opponents. A political ad released by the campaign even mocked the Republican’s old age and inability to use email, a result of injuries sustained during his years in captivity.
FLASHBACK: Obama’s campaign mocks McCain’s disability which made it tough for him to send emailshttps://t.co/XbBW6dgDIc
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) August 26, 2018
“McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes,” Mary Leonard wrote in the Boston Globe in 2000.
Then there was the far-left Hollywood crowd who compared McCain to Adolf Hitler. The animated comedy “Family Guy” featured a scene in which characters were transported back to Nazi Germany and tried to blend in wearing uniforms, one of which had a McCain/Palin button.
Madonna, who recently declared that her fantasy was to blow up the White House, used a video montage during one of her concerts in 2008 that showed images of McCain alongside photos of Hitler and brutal Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
In 2008, @Madonna kicked off her Sticky & Sweet Tour at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. At one point, she compared John McCain to Adolf Hitler and Mugabe. Many of those that offer such glowing praise of him today said nothing in his defense then.
— Rachel Miselman (@RachelMiselman) August 26, 2018
Not very many offered an ardent defense of McCain at the time. Certainly not the media, and certainly not soon-to-be President Obama or former President George W. Bush.
Yet both men have been invited to deliver a eulogy at the senator’s funeral services at the National Cathedral.
Ironically, the Left is now on Donald Trump’s case for having belittled McCain in ways nearly identical to those Obama and company. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota was livid on Monday when Republican guest John Sununu refused to denounce Trump for allegedly failing to release a statement on McCain’s passing. On Sunday, the New York Times reported somewhat triumphally that “McCain quietly declared before his death that he did not want Mr. Trump to take part in his funeral.”
How quickly the Left has forgotten that Obama and his supporters said the very same things Trump did during the heat of a political battle.
One side has been forgiven. The other has not.