Talking Points

Cindy McCain makes the jump her husband flirted with in 2001

Before his rivalry with President Trump — and even before his loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election — there was a time when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was seen as such a "maverick" that it seemed conceivable he might jump to the Democrats. He met secretly with Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) in 2001 to plot the move. "He was furious over the way the party establishment had treated him in the 2000 race for the Republican presidential nomination against the eventually victorious George W. Bush," Philip Shenon reported in 2017. "We came very close," Daschle said.

McCain probably never would've been a good fit with Democrats — his "Bomb, bomb Iran" hawkishness would've been anathema to a party base that had turned decidedly anti-war by 2004. But he nearly chose Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) as his running mate when he won the Republican nomination in 2008. (Whatever you think of Lieberman, the choice would've spared America from the proto-Trumpism of Sarah Palin.) And his final great act on the public stage was to cast the deciding vote to save ObamaCare from a Republican repeal bill in 2017.

Given that legacy — and given the clear disdain President Trump and Sen. McCain had for each other — it was no surprise Tuesday when Cindy McCain honored her late husband's legacy by participating in a Democratic National Convention video about the two men's friendship.

"They would just sit and joke," she said of the relationship between the two men. "It was like a comedy show, sometimes, to watch the two of them."

It wasn't an endorsement. But it wasn't not an endorsement, either. Instead, Cindy McCain's video offered more reassurance to any wavering Republican voters out there that it is okay to vote for Biden. It has been two years since John McCain died. Thanks to his wife, he remains a thorn in President Trump's side.