McCain back to embracing Bush.

In recent weeks, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been working extra hard to distance himself from President Bush. His campaign has even tried to argue that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) actually represents a third term of Bush. Today at a rally in Pennsylvania, however, McCain — who once said that he would “be honored to be anywhere with him [Bush] under any circumstances” — couldn’t help but throw out more praise. The New York Times reports:

So it was a bit surprising when Mr. McCain offered praise of President Bush on Sunday, reprising a line he has hardly used, if he has used it at all, since the Republican primary battles ended. It came as Mr. McCain praised Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary, who had introduced him.

“I think that Tom Ridge — and President Bush — deserve some credit for the fact there’s not been another attack on the United States of America since 9/11,’’ he said.

Maybe McCain’s shout-out to the Bush administration was a thank-you to Vice President Cheney, who endorsed the Republican ticket yesterday.