McCain praises Obama, just for a moment

Asked about his 2008 opponent, John McCain offered a compliment, Arizona-style. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Asked about his 2008 opponent, John McCain offered a compliment, Arizona-style. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
By Al Kamen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 9, 2010; 8:18 PM

Is a sense of mutual respect, maybe even some reconciliation, possible between the newly victorious Republicans and the Obama administration?

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) speaking Sunday at an international symposium in Halifax, Nova Scotia, offered strong praise for his erstwhile opponent.

McCain, fresh from his solid reelection victory, was asked whether President Obama would be the right person to deliver a "strong signal" to Iran that Washington stands firmly behind democracy and human rights in that country.

"I think the president . . . is entirely suited to give that message," McCain said. Obama's rise to become "president of the strongest nation in the world," he added, "is a remarkable story, and I think it's a shining example to people all over the world."

But McCain quickly got back on message: "It's a great success story," he said before he recovered and said that Obama is "also a person who is catapulted to a position of extreme - of enormous responsibility with very little background or experience in these issues."

Phew. That was close.

New game, first serve

The incoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), was on Fox over the weekend pledging fact-based investigations by his committee. That's a shame. So no more shooting cantaloupes?

"One of the problems we had in the previous two years was that we couldn't agree on what the facts were," Issa said, "therefore the conclusions were different - each side blamed the other - that's got to end." There goes the long-cherished constitutional right to your own facts.

But you can still enter the Loop Who Gets It First Contest, which lets you guess which federal agency or individual gets Issa's first subpoena.

To win our contest, simply predict which agency or person will get the first Issa subpoena and over what issue. As a tiebreaker, guess the month and day.

Please send your entry to As always, Hill and administration officials may submit entries on background. Those coveted In the Loop T-shirts will be awarded to the first 10 entrants with the correct answer. Please include a phone contact. Deadline for entries is Dec. 15. Don't delay!

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