CBS Frets: Will Senate Get 'Bipartisan Maverick' McCain or 'Conservative' McCain?

In a story on President-elect Barack Obama's Monday meeting with Senator John McCain, CBS's Dean Reynolds listed some “areas of potential cooperation,” but he worried: “Will it be McCain the bipartisan maverick who reemerges in the Senate or the campaign conservative who might want to join fellow Republicans in frustrating the new President's plans?”

Reynolds then turned to the Politico's Jim VandeHei, a veteran of the Washington Post, who assured viewers McCain will want to “fix any damage that he did during this campaign” -- presumably a reference to McCain going to the right -- by returning to his old Senate ways journalists liked: “This is a man with a very rich appreciation for history and his place in history and I think he'll want to, you know, fix any damage that he did during this campaign by ending on a high note in the Senate.”

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton = “breathtaking!” Meanwhile, in Jake Tapper's Monday night story on ABC's World News about speculation over Hillary Clinton getting a cabinet spot, Clintonista Lanny Davis hailed: “The combination of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the world stage is literally breathtaking!”

From the Monday, November 17 CBS Evening News:

DEAN REYNOLDS: ...Areas of potential cooperation for Obama and McCain include improving education, ethics reform, torture and the future of the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo, Cuba, which sources say was discussed by the two at their meeting. But will it be McCain the bipartisan maverick who reemerges in the Senate or the campaign conservative who might want to join fellow Republicans in frustrating the new President's plans?

JIM VANDEHEI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF POLITICO.COM: This is a man with a very rich appreciation for history and his place in history and I think he'll want to, you know, fix any damage that he did during this campaign by ending on a high note in the Senate.

REYNOLDS: The irony for John McCain is that one way to maintain his influence in a Democratic controlled Senate may be by helping the man who defeated him. Katie?
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center