Vice President John McCain

A conservative magazine has recently been the first to tentatively identify the potential missing piece in an American political puzzle that is just over six years old now: how John McCain could forgive George Bush and his operatives for launching perhaps the worst political attack in American history during the 2000 Presidential Primary in South Carolina.

This attack culminated in hate-filled messages where anonymous callers told voters that John McCain's adopted daughter from Bangladesh, was "actually" McCain's illegitimate black daughter - some push calls were more blunt, calling her McCain's "nigger baby."

As the father of an adopted child from China, I could never fathom how John McCain could forgive this deepest and most evil of personal attacks. How could a warrior like this, a man who has clearly shown a willingness to take unpopular stands - stand for an attack not on himself but on his young daughter?

The answer may be just months away when if, as some expect, Cheney retires and the Vice Presidency is handed to a man the Democrats would find very tough to beat: John McCain. Why is his popularity so high among Democrats and why would Karl Rove et al have been willing to strike a deal with him? It was brilliantly simple.

Through a remarkable orchestration of behind-the-scenes politicking, John McCain's advisors thrust him in the middle of the John Kerry Vice Presidential selection process - the McCain as VP rumors started not in the Kerry camp but in the McCain camp.

By elevating his status among Independents and Democrats, John McCain dramatically increased his appeal and political power. In fact, McCain currently outpolls some potential Democratic 2008 candidates among DEMOCRATS.

The possibility of McCain running as John Kerry's Vice President forced Rove to deal with McCain. Because with the pending launch of the Swift Boat veterans teed up, Rove simply couldn't let Kerry pick McCain. Two veterans, running together, unifying the country in a time of war would have been virtually unbeatable.

But would McCain have really switched and joined Kerry? The White House couldn't afford to wait to find out. Was a true deal struck? Was McCain promised the power of running as an incumbent Vice President in 2008? Few know for sure and I certainly am not one of them.

But when I saw John McCain embrace George Bush 2004, not just support him, but passionately embrace him, I wondered how he could do it.

When I saw a conservative magazine bring more attention to the rumors of a potential Dick Cheney departure, I wondered some more.

And if Dick Cheney leaves, and John McCain becomes Vice President, wonder no more.

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