President Barack Obama has an important new ally as emboldened Republicans work to derail his agenda: John McCain
The shift is striking: The 2008 rivals never got along throughout Obama’s first term in office. McCain has been Obama’s chief tormentor on issues ranging from the budget to Benghazi, tartly saying in late 2010 that the two men had “no relationship.”
Yet during one of Obama’s toughest times as president, there was McCain, sitting down last week with him in the Oval Office for a private strategy session. At the urging of new White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who has sought better ties with Republicans, Obama has had more substantive discussions with McCain in the past five months than he did in his first four years in office, according to associates of both men. Suddenly, the two are working together on issues ranging from immigration to the deficit.
“I’m getting nervous,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), McCain’s closest friend in the Senate. “I told Denis McDonough, ‘I don’t know what you’ve done: You’ve hijacked him.’”
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