August 2nd, 2008
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama's ideal role for McCain? Loyal Opposition

Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a town hall rally in Titusville, Florida, Saturday.

Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a town hall rally in Titusville, Florida, Saturday.

TITUSVILLE, Florida (CNN) –- The last week has left little doubt that the presidential campaign has taken a turn for the negative though John McCain and Barack Obama still insist they respect each other. But would McCain have a role in an Obama administration?

“You're setting me up to get in trouble,” Obama told a Florida supporter who asked him during a townhall meeting if McCain and his stalwart surrogate, Democrat-turned-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, would gets jobs in a Democratic White House.

“I would have [McCain] serve in the role of loyal opposition, in the minority,” Obama told the crowd after initially stumbling over a few words, searching for an appropriate answer.

“There's an important function to be served there,” he added, “I mean it's important to have an opposition that is keeping you on your toes and giving you a hard time and calling you out if you're not doing what you say you’re going to do. That's part of what is good about democracy.”

Obama declined to mention whether he sees former Democratic colleague Lieberman as part of the opposition as well.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Tim E

    McCain could be Director of Celluloid Morale, given his penchant for developing "humorous" shorts, like the Britney and The One.

    August 2, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Liz T, Tucson

    McCain needs to be careful that he can even get re-elected senator from Arizona. He has not earned his salary in the Senate for a long time, being gone campaigning and missing votes before then. To be part of the opposition, you have to be in office.

    If I were McCain and didn't get elected in November, I would retire on my wife's money so fast!!

    August 2, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. The movement 08/12 Obama

    Ideal roll to tell McShame " its Nap & Depend time 24/7 "

    August 2, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. GOP Hate America

    McPhony should be a loyal butler and that is about it but he will probably mess that up too.

    August 2, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Amanda

    Please yet again the Communist News Networks insinuates that Obama has this thing wrapped....look at the polls you idiots!

    August 2, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Fla

    Mr. Obama, not so fast...!!!! In my estimation you will lose with 46/47% of the popular vote and then you can become the leader of the Socialist /Radical Environmentalist /neo communist / Terrorist sympathizers and Cartoon Character conclave in the company of your friends Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid, while Mr.McCain lead us to a better future, which is not so bad anyway despite your contentions, while at the same time some Hollywood imbecils leave the Country for good, some of the NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Mr. Soros, the former Governor of the Vermont "The Pedophile State" Mr. Howard Dean, to mention few and some idiotic liberals radio talk show host commit suicide.

    August 2, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Charlotte

    Flip flop Obama, who knows what he will do? Against FISA,for FISA. Against NAFTA, for NAFTA.. Against off shore drilling, for off shore drilling. Bundling 52 million from lobbist, against taking lobbist money. Wants to change Washington Politics,using OLD politicians to support and defend him. Go figure... I will write Hillary Clinton on my ballot in November and sleep good knowing I voted for the best candidate.

    August 2, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Lynne

    I do not think Obama has to worry about where to put McCain..he should worry what McCain would do for him when McCain makes President!

    August 2, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. Charlotte

    Flip-flop Obama. Take a chance and vote for him, or not.
    Obama has played the race card over and over. In the beginning Oprah and he could not say anything that was not implying MLK and "I have a dream" speech. Michelles comment, "ain't no blacks in Iowa." Every speech he makes he slides in a comment about his skin color. Most recently, " he doesn't look like other people on the dollar bills." He is a typical politician, the only difference is, he is black. This is his plan to somehow make us feel like we are racist if we don't vote for him. Rev. Wright, Father Pfleager and that racist church for 20 years is all it took to turn me off. His pompous attitude has only re-affirmed my feelings about him. I will write Hillary Clinton on my ballot in November, regardless. Obama thinking he is the, " choosen one," only makes me more convienced he is not good for this country. The urgency of now, is for me to not vote for this racist jerk.

    August 2, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. Jody Monroe

    It's called "ACCOUNTABILITY". And it's too rare in our American leaders.

    "keeping you on your toes, and giving you a hard time, and calling you out if you're not doing what you say you’re going to do"

    August 2, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. bruce Plummer

    Good stuff.

    August 2, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Brian, Pittsburgh

    Maybe McCain can go back to being honest once this election is over...

    August 2, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  13. ERD in NC

    I would find it unbelievable if he did not think Joe was in the opposition, though I don't think 'loyal' and 'Lieberman' can exist in the same sentence.

    August 2, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. Belle

    Loyal Opposition? How loyal was he to Bush? Oh...I forgot...Bush was ONLY a President.

    Obama...go back to the Senate....learn a few things, like HOW to be a Senator...then try again in 2016.

    August 2, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. CJ

    Pretty diplomatic on-the-spot answer if you ask me. Isn't there a famous quote regarding how you can learn way more from people you disagree with than from those who think in the same vein?

    August 2, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. jamie

    McCain08, McCain= true change, not just a collection of nice words and a hole lot of flip floping!LOL... Down with Osama,down with the Communist news network!!!

    August 2, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. There is Nothing Loyal About McCain!

    McCain reminds me of a broken record instead of any potential "loyal opposition". He seems to think that saying something over and over again will make it true. How sad! McCain is and would remain a royal pain, a nuisance. I can not listen to or look at him any longer. He surely was not a loyal husband to his first wife, Carol.

    August 2, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. jameso

    I decided to post this comment about the oil drilling here so i can have my fair chance of comment.The only reason why the republian party are crying for oil drilling towards the end of the Bush term is to cover for the bad decision they made and to create more problem for the next president.If Mc Cain win in nov they will turn around as usual just as every legislature they always delay or blocked

    August 2, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Pam

    If McCain finds himself out of work, I'm sure there's a shuffle board league he could join somewhere.

    August 2, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. jimmie brenner

    Senator McCain would NOT be a threat nor would he ever try to "sabotage" Senator Obama. (like you know who) He is and always will be a true patriot.. GO OBAMA
    jimmie from Wa.

    August 2, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Former g.o.p.

    The difference between Obama and McCain is that Obama wants to work with republicans to solve our problems, whereas McCain, like a sick political sociopath attacks, mocks, and smears Obama.

    Would you rather have a celebrity with brains, a plan and a purpose or a bitter, angery, stubborn old man, wallowing in the last eight years of corruption, incompetence and arrogance?

    August 2, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. Alan Boyer

    When Obama is president, he would crazy to entertain any meetings with John McCain. John McCain could not face himself for being the white man who lost to the first president who was African American. That is the last thing John McCain wants to be famous for.

    August 2, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Wow, I'm even more impressed with Obama than I have been throughout this campaign process. This shows that he's a mensch through and through, and wants to unite the country.

    August 2, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. me

    I've got an idea as to what McCain can do.....RETIRE GRANDPA!

    August 2, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. Christopher in Silicon Valley

    Magnanimous as usual.

    August 2, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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