The death of a maverick: John McCain backtracks on nuclear policy.

At the University of Denver in May 2008, John McCain laid out his nuclear policy in a speech that sounded like it could have been delivered by President Obama:

[T]he Cold War ended almost 20 years ago, and the time has come to take further measures to reduce dramatically the number of nuclear weapons in the world’s arsenals. It’s time for the United States to show the kind of leadership the world expects from us, in the tradition of American presidents who worked to reduce the nuclear threat to mankind.

Based off his comments in 2008, one would expect McCain to be largely supportive of the Nuclear Posture Review. But this is 2010, and McCain is doing some serious backtracking on his once mavericky, forward-looking approach to nuclear weapons. In a joint statement issued with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) yesterday, McCain attacked Obama’s new nuclear strategy, asserting that it wouldn’t allocate enough funding to maintain our nuclear weapons infrastructure. Funny that in an entire speech on nuclear weapons in 2008, McCain never mentioned his professed concern over the funding of the nuclear infrastructure, despite the fact that the Bush administration was funding it at much lower levels.



Marc Ambinder offers more detailed commentary of McCain’s posturing.