In the February ’07 issue of Vanity Fair, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is quoted telling a group of conservatives last October that the Iraq war “isn’t going to be around in 2008.”
According to Vanity Fair, an audience member told McCain, “The war’s the big issue. Some kind of disengagement — it’s going to have to happen. It’s a big issue for you…in 24 months.” McCain responded:
“I do believe this issue isn’t going to be around in 2008. I think it’s going to either tip into civil war … ” He breaks off, as if not wanting to rehearse the handful of other unattractive possibilities. “Listen,” he says, “I believe in prayer. I pray every night.” And that’s where he leaves his discussion of the war this morning: at the kneeling rail.
Later, McCain told Vanity Fair editor Todd Purdum, “It’s just so hard for me to contemplate failure that I can’t make the next step.”
Quotes attributed to anonymous McCain advisers also suggest that the Arizona senator — who passionately supported the initial Iraq invasion and is leading the charge for escalation — now sees his initial support as a liability:
Asked whether, knowing all that is known now (no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no effective Iraqi army), McCain would have still supported the invasion, his aides say he doesn’t view the question in such simple terms. …
“He stands by his support for doing something,” one aide said. …
“If you knew we were going to lose, would you still be for it?” the aide asked. “That’s a different hypothetical question, that he doesn’t have to answer yet.”
Read the full Vanity Fair article HERE.