John McCain and Mitt Romney, back when they were in the race, never seemed to like each other very much. Romney enjoyed suggesting that McCain was an avatar of a "broken Washington" full of the "they" that "hadn't" sufficiently kept up the House That Reagan Built. For his part, McCain seemed to delight in his haughty dismissals of Romney and his numerous changes of position. But Romney needs to hitch the wagon of his political future to somebody, and McCain needs the delegates, so the two men made themselves some Valentine's Day whoopee of the awkward, Republican variety.
The endorsement went down at Romney's "headquarters" in Boston, which, by all appearances, looked like the abandoned building that served as the setting for Reservoir Dogs. The backdrop for the occasion was a hastily-taped up American flag on an unfinished white wall. Ol' Moneybags Romney really pulled out all the stops!
Speaking first, Romney immediately went to work in glossing over his testy relationship with McCain, saying that "in the thick of the fight" it is "easy to lose sight of your opponents qualities." But, Romney said, McCain has always embodied aspects which he respected. "He understands the nature of the war we're in and won't surrender," Romney said, tying back in to his "I must quit the race in order to save America" rationale he gave at CPAC for dropping out of the race. He went on, applauding McCain for having the courage to tie "his political fortunes to the country" during wartime, presumably because McCain could no longer tie them to he Keating Five.
McCain praised Romney for running a campaign that was "hard, intensive," and "honorable." McCain insisted that their differences were behind them, stating that it was now "important that we join together...and travel this country," so long as he didn't have to travel in a cage on the roof of Romney's car. "I am honored to have Governor Romney and the members of his team by my side," McCain said. The two men also officially came out against "the collapse of civilization as we know it," so civilization as we know it can now totally relax and enjoy one hundred years of Surging.
Reporters were allowed to ask questions, so long as they "raised their hand." Most of the reporters seemed content to lob questions that probed whether anyone in their right minds could possibly believe the two men could even stand being in each other's presence. Romney downplayed their reputed enmity, suggesting that if one reviewed the tapes of their debates, that he and McCain actually shared some "good laughs," especially when they were seated next to each other. Like that time at the Reagan library when McCain repeatedly lit into Romney for being a timetable-hugging surrender-whore! That was hilarious! Such fellowship.
McCain and Romney cut the Q&A session short after it became apparent that the reporters were going to keep asking awkard questions about whether McCain liked Romney enough to be his vice-president. Without some "straight talk" on that matter, it's hard to divine what specific future Mitt Romney might have in a McCain White House. It's worth noting, however, that in a typical piece of McCain oratory, you can get yourself good and schnockered if you take a stiff drink every time McCain says, "My friends." With Romney's endorsement in hand, he didn't utter the phrase once. Key indicator?
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