WASHINGTON--President Obama and his 2008 rival, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) met at the White House on Wednesday, perhaps a new beginning for the two men. The thaw started in the wake of the Tucson shooting spree, where McCain warmly received Obama's comments about the massacre. Also, McCain, a long-time crusader against earmarks welcomes Obama's anti-earmark pledge.
According to a White House official, giving a "readout" of the meeting, "this afternoon, the President and Senator McCain met privately in the Oval Office. The President called Senator McCain last month after the Senator penned on op-ed in the Washington Post after the tragedy in Tucson and the meeting arose from that discussion. Senator McCain had indicated that he wanted to discuss a number of important issues with the President, and the President was eager to see him.
"The President and Senator McCain discussed a wide range of issues, including our desire to work with Republicans and Democrats to grow our economy, create jobs and win the future. The President also discussed our shared responsibility for our deficit, and his focus on working together in a bipartisan way to make tough choices necessary to ensure that our future isn't built on a mountain of debt.
"The President also welcomed members of both sides of the aisle in the Senate who called for an end of the era of earmarks in Washington, and thanked Senator McCain for his continued leadership on this issue."