John McCain Claims People Want Him To Run For President Again

Most people would say that John McCain is being slightly delusional:

“Particularly since the shutdown, I’ve had a spate of e-mails and letters and phone calls saying, ‘Run for president again,'” McCain told The Arizona Republic. “As you know, I’m seriously thinking about running for re-election to the Senate. But I think, in the words of the late Morris K. Udall, as far as my presidential ambitions are concerned, ‘The people have spoken — the bastards.'”

In his book Too Funny To Be President, Udall, D-Ariz., attributed the quote to California Democrat Dick Tuck. Udall unsuccessfully sought the 1976 Democratic nomination for president.

While even McCain agrees that another presidential candidacy seems far-fetched, Bruce Merrill, a veteran Arizona political scientist and pollster, told The Republic he has fielded multiple calls from out-of-state reporters this year investigating the possibility. McCain was critical of the GOP strategy to try to defund President Barack Obama’s health-care law, resulting in a partial government shutdown. McCain emerged with better national poll numbers than others associated with the crisis, including “tea party”-style U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

“I can assure you, I don’t see it,” said McCain, who will turn 80 in 2016. “It’s not on my radar.”

Yea, neither it is on our radar either, Senator.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    His wife because she wants him out of the house when the pool boy comes around…and his daughter because her 15 minutes appears to be over and she wants another 15.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    “Slightly Delusional”, boy that must be in the running for understatement of the year!

  3. Joe says:

    I am not sure what element of McCain’s statement here you find “delusional.” It does not surprise me a whit that there are people who want him to run and tell him so. I assume that most major politicians have some core of die-hard believers who believe that they and only they can solve all problems. Do you doubt that Ralph Nader gets regular support to try again? It would not shock me if Jimmy Carter has a trunk full of letters suggesting he run again. It also does not surprise me that McCain might run again for the Senate. And it does not surprise me that he has no plan to run for President because the people have spoken, i.e. he lost.

    Politicians have their followings. They are not responsible for every crazy ideas their followers advance.

  4. grumpy realist says:

    I think one issue is whether this answer was in response to a question from a reporter about running again, in which case McCain has answered the question he was asked. If he coughed up this hairball all on his own lonesome, it’s McCain dangling a big juicy tidbit out there to see if there’s enough support for him to “do it again”.

    Or simply to keep his name out in front of the marks.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    Well, in the meantime, both he and Lindsay Graham can team up to hold up all important nominations (like that of Janet Yelln) while they get to the bottom of the worst foreign policy scandal in American history – Benghazi.

  6. george says:

    I kind of suspect a lot of Democrats would love him to run again. Ideally with Palin as his VP candidate.

  7. Dan says:

    @C. Clavin:

    His wife does not need him to run for president before she can have her way with the pool boy. Doesn’t she live mostly in Arizona? Isn’t he mostly in Washington? His daughter may want another 15 minutes tho.

    I sense a lot of negativity towards McCain in this post and in the comments, and I’m wondering why. Sarah Palin provided a lot of entertainment during the 2008 campaign. She was dumb but entertaining, and we have McCain to thank for that. Were you not entertained? I was! And I thank McCain.

  8. Pinky says:

    “[Merrill] has fielded multiple calls from out-of-state reporters this year investigating the possibility”

    Reporters want him to run again. Voters don’t.

  9. edmondo says:

    I guess Joe Lieberman must have a lot of time on his hands to write letters now that he’s retired

  10. MarkedMan says:

    Let’s rephrase this: John McCain, a powerful senator, has lobbyists surrounding him who assure him he hasn’t lost his touch, that the country would be better off if he was President, and no, he’s not too old and gosh darn it, he looks fit as a fiddle. The news in this? McCain is losing it enough that he is actually repeating what professional sycophants tell him.

  11. rangerrebew says:

    I’m certain the muslim brotherhood and communist party USA do want him to run.

  12. Just Me says:

    He’s 80 years old-he needs to retire from politics not run for president.

    I do agree that context matters in that if was he asked a question about running and his answer was “some people want me to but it isn’t on my radar” it is very different than if he just volunteered this information.

  13. Tony W says:

    @Dan: You make a good point – I’m not sure I would have truly fathomed the sheer stupidity of the Republican party that early without Caribou Barbie on the ticket. Mr. McCain helped me see the disloyal opposition sooner than I would have.

    Surprisingly there are still delusional, but intelligent, people claiming to remain Republicans. I have no explanation for that.

  14. mike conner says:

    what we dont need at the 11th hour is another geriactric gerald ford old war horse that thinks he has another race in him…especially if his running mate Is Not the lesser of the two evils when the grimm reaper comes acallin….gee! why dont we just shoot ourselves in the head and nominate dick cheney? …no wait, he just got a new ticker courtesy of some poor 99 % bastard