Rove was on Face the Nation yesterday, expressing confidence that John McCain would have no trouble uniting the Republican party in time to defeat the Democratic nominee in the fall. The intraparty squabbling, said Rove, was a hiccup; in 2000, “a month after Sen. McCain withdrew from the contest… Gov. Bush was still getting two-thirds, three-fourths of the vote… there is a natural process and we’re likely to see it play out in the next couple of weeks.” What’s more, he points out that in head-to-head match-ups, McCain is able to attract the support of a higher percentage of Republicans than Clinton or Obama do of Democrats. (Also? LOVE THE WHITEBOARD.)
Eight years ago, however, a weirdly boyish Bush brain had slightly different take on how the GOP rallies around its nominee: by getting rid of McCain. McCain’s vindictive temperament, he said, was “not the mark of a leader who can unite the party.” (No whiteboard. That technology apparently not invented yet.)
I know, I know: he hasn’t really changed his mind. Before, he was just lying.