Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) demurred once again when asked to divine the kind of candidate for president his former running mate, Sarah Palin, could be in 2012.
"I have a degree of clairvoyance," the Arizona Republican said, "but in 2009 to predict what would happen in the 2012 election is -- I'm not capable of."
While McCain wouldn't wade into presidential politics, he did offer a bit of retrospection. In an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," McCain acknowledged what has become quite obvious -- that during the course of the 2008 election, serious rifts developed within his campaign ranks. Asked about comments made by his former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, disparaging the role Palin could play in the Republican Party, McCain offered the following reply:
Look, whenever there's a political campaign -- and I've been involved in them for many, many years -- there's always tensions within. You know, when you -- how -- with a high-pressure situation, there's always tensions that develop within campaigns. And there were clearly tensions between Steve Schmidt and people in the Palin camp.
There's -- there are fundamental facts, though, that cannot be denied. When we selected or asked Sarah Palin to be my running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed. And she still is a formidable force in the Republican Party. And I have great affection for her.
Will Sarah and I -- did we always agree on everything in the past? Will we in the future? No. But look let's let a thousand flowers bloom. Let's come up with a winning combination the next time. We -- and -- and let's -- let's all go through the process, rather than condemning anybody's chances. And I'm happy to say we have some great people out there, and Sarah is one of them.