Debating McCain's Relevancy

John McCain's hour-long interview Sunday has brought into question whether he matters to today's political debates

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Senator John McCain will appear on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday for a whole hour, leading several commentators to wonder whether he'll be worth watching. As the last Republican to lose a presidential race and also one not critical to any bipartisan health care deal, is he relevant anymore?

Don't Miss It  The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza said there are signs that McCain wants to be part of negotiations after staying on the outside where he's laid low. Cillizza asks, "How hard a line against the plan does McCain take? Does he leave any wiggle room in hopes of emerging as the broker of a grand compromise?"

Sleep In  Washington Monthly's Steve Benen said McCain isn't in the GOP leadership, not on the key Senate Finance Committee, hasn't put forward health care legislation or been targeted as a swing vote. "McCain is, in other words, just another conservative Republican senator," he wrote, "with no real influence, and nothing new to say, who just happens to be invited onto national television all the time." Benen noted that since losing the election, McCain has been on the Sunday talk shows 10 times:

Just once, I'd love to hear producers/hosts explain why McCain has to be on one at least one of the Sunday shows 11 times* in eight months. Refresh my memory: was there this much interest in John Kerry's take on current events in 2005?

Mean, Not Maverick  A voting analysis shows McCain is voting more with the GOP in the Senate this session than at any other time. John Cole said McCain is voting this way because he is a "mean, petty, bitter, angry man, and he is going to do everything he can to make Obama’s life hell. ... That he is leading the charge against Obama is not a return to his conservative principles, but just additional evidence that he is a small man who takes everything personally and the country is far better off without him in the White House."

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