The Amazing Colossal McCain

by David Weigel

Buried in a New York Times story on John McCain's efforts to reach out to Bush supporters is this list of his intellectual advisers.

His growing kitchen cabinet spans an array of issues and backgrounds, and includes James Jay Baker, a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association; Niall Ferguson, a historian at Harvard; and Barry McCaffrey,  who was the drug czar under President Bill Clinton.

Yes, Niall Ferguson. The brilliant financial historian turned foaming-at-the-mouth "national greatness conservative." The "John McCain and Joe Lieberman will break the logjam of American democracy" argument too easily writes off the fact that both men are far more hawkish than the mainstream voter. McCain, in particular, is a class-A neoconservative and more hawkish than Bush. A president with Niall Ferguson on his shoulder is a president who'll stretch our military even thinner across the globe.