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updated 4/7/2004 5:26:33 PM ET 2004-04-07T21:26:33

Arizona Senator John McCain sent shockwaves through the White House and across the nation‘s capital this morning when he said he would consider being on Democrat John Kerry‘s vice presidential ticket. 

He said, “John Kerry is a very close friend of mine.  And we‘ve been friends for years.  Obviously, I would entertain it, but I see no scenario, no scenario, no scenario where—I foresee no scenario where that would happen.”

No scenario, but he would entertain it?

Now, John McCain is a smart man.  He knew then, and he knows now, that leaving open the possibility of running against a Republican president on a Democratic ticket would create shockwaves and would be considered the political equivalent of treason.  But John McCain couldn‘t care less.  You know, he‘s one of the few politicians I‘ve ever met in Washington, D.C. who walks to the beat of his own drummer, instead of listening to party boss. 

But his peers also tell me he‘s a gritty fighter, who never forgives or forgets when he‘s wronged.  And get this: Sen. John McCain will remember the beating the Bush team gave him in South Carolina four years ago until the day he dies.  And anybody that tells you that bitter campaign didn‘t play into this morning‘s drive-by political shooting either doesn‘t know Washington politics, or is simply lying to you. 

John McCain is punching back four years later.  The only question is whether the punching‘s going to stop or whether he‘s going to keep on and whether he‘s going to try to land the knockout blow on George Bush this fall, when George Bush really needs the support of his old enemy. 

Tonight, John McCain is the only person who knows whether that help will ever come.  And that‘s the “Real Deal.” 

The Real Deal is a regular segment on 'Scarborough Country.' 'Scarborough Country' airs Sunday-Thursday, 10 p.m. ET

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