Photo: The White House
Watching John McCain endorse his former rival Mitt Romney at a New Hampshire event Wednesday, you’d never guess that the pair were once the most bitter of rivals (that is, unless you spotted McCain checking his watch half way through Romney’s speech).But four years ago, the candidates were at each other’s throats daily. Almost literally.
But no one has a shorter memory than a politician on the campaign trail in need of an endorsement, hence the kiss and make-up.
Needless to say, McCain’s endorsement of Romney wasn’t the first of political reversals and it won’t be the last.
Obama and Clinton fought fiercely for the 2008 Democratic nomination, and in person, the candidates were noticeably cold to one another. In one famous debate moment, when a moderator asked Clinton about her likability, Obama piped in, 'You're likable enough, Hillary.'
But when Obama nabbed the nomination and then the election, he had to woo Hillary supporters and in turn woo the Senator, herself. After a series of friendly (if somewhat forced) campaign appearances Obama tapped Hillary to be Secretary of State, and the woman who was once 'likable enough' was now 'good enough' for the cabinet. Actually, she's now widely considered the most popular politician in the country.
rumours persist that Obama will pick Hillary as his VP for 2012 even though Hillary has noted time and time again that there is no chance of this happening.
The former House Speakers often didn't see eye-to-eye in the 80s and 90s, but managed to come together (on a love seat of all places) in 2008 to film a commercial supporting Al Gore's global warming campaign.
But the warm feelings didn't last long and recently their relationship has turned sour. Newt now calls the commercial with Pelosi 'probably the dumbest single thing I've done in years.'
In December the two exchanged some harsh words when Pelosi said in an interview she might publicly disclose findings of a 1990s investigation on Gingrich's tax and ethics violations. Gingrich sarcastically called her comment 'an early Christmas gift,' and then charged that the investigation was 'tainted.'
Conservative journalist Pat Buchanan made the rare (and insulting) move to challenge a sitting president, George H.W. Bush, in the 1992 Republican republican primaries.
But when Buchanan's campaign faltered in New Hampshire, he threw his support behind Bush, delivering a keynote speech at that year's nominating convention.
'The primaries are over. The heart is strong again,' he said. 'And the Buchanan brigades are enlisted all the way to a great Republican comeback victory in November.'
Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush are an unlikely duo.
Clinton unseated Bush after only one term (something his son George W. reportedly never forgave him for). During the 2008 election, Bill's wife Hillary Clinton regularly bashed Bush's son George W. Bush. But that didn't stop the former presidents from golfing and boating together, and since then their friendship has survived, despite the contentious relationships surrounding them.
But it was their joint trip to Thailand 2005 in the wake of the devastating Tsunami there that really solidified their partnership. (In 2010 George W. would pick up the friendship baton, travelling to Haiti with Clinton after the devastating earthquake there.)
Perhaps the greatest make-up was actually one of the first in American history. In the presidential election of 1860, Seward, Chase, and Bates were all considered the more qualified candidates. But it was little-known Abraham Lincoln who won the office. In an unprecedented move, Lincoln managed to convince his former opponents to serve in his cabinet.
'We needed the strongest men of the party in the cabinet,' Lincoln said. 'These were the very strongest men. Then I had no right to deprive the country of their services.'
Though it seemed likely that the more experienced politicians would dominate Lincoln, they ultimately came to praise him. In fact, Seward once called him 'the best and wisest man' he had ever known.
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