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Report: McCain considering one-term pledge
Stephen C. Webster
Published: Monday June 30, 2008

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According to a new report by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain considered taking a one-term pledge at the outset of his campaign.

In January, during a Q&A held in a small New Hampshire town, a woman asked John McCain if he has the stamina for eight years in the White House. McCain, who would be the oldest president in US history at the start of his first term, told the woman, "If I said I was running for eight years, I'm not sure that would be a vote-getter." The comment was reported by the Boston Globe.

Questions by reporters after the town hall were batted away by the candidate, though talk of McCain's flirtatious courtship with the one-term pledge have not yet evaporated. Early in June, The Atlantic's Mark Ambinder claimed an early draft of McCain's announcement speech contained the one-term pledge, but it was scrapped after former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) persuaded him to remove the passage.

"You're quacking on Inauguration Day," said McCain according to Politico. His assumption being that his administration would assume an instant lame duck status if the 2012 presidential race were to begin as soon as the next president takes office.

In spite of the candidate's apparent denial, gossip in GOP circles of a one-term pledge at McCain's nomination acceptance speech is pervasive.

"It would take age off the table once and for all," claims Marsha Mercer, Washington bureau chief for Media General News Services. "It could even mollify those Republicans who think McCain is insufficiently conservative. They could hold their noses and vote for him as the lesser of two evils, knowing he was on his way out."

"He's probably even considering announcing that he would serve only one term, as a way of pushing the agenda on a bipartisan basis," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) on June 16 at a gathering in Washington D.C. He later disregarded the comment.