It's beenoften noted in recent monthshow Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) positions on a host of issues, including climate change and immigration, have moved considerably to the right in the face of a once-formidable primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) evencommented to the New York Timesthat McCain, his good friend, was largely absent from the negotiating table with Democrats because "John's got a primary. He's got to focus on getting reelected."
"Lindsey knows that I don't change in my positions," he says. "I have not changed in my positions. I know how popular it is for the Eastern press to paint me as having changed positions. That's not true. I know they're going to continue to say it. It's fundamentally false. Not only am I sure that they'll say it, you'll say it. You'll write it. And I've just grown to accept that."
"The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it," McCain said in October 2006 to an audience of Iowa State University students.
That day arrived Tuesday, with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen testifying to senators after President Obama's announcement that he would seek a congressional repeal of the 15-year-old policy. [...]
In response, McCain declared himself "disappointed" in the testimony. "At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," he said bluntly, before describing it as "imperfect but effective."