Debate Diplomacy: I'll Stab Your Back, You Scratch Mine

When George W. Bush needed a little help recently, he didn't hesitate to prevail upon a friend who used to be an enemy. Trying to persuade competing television networks to carry the presidential debates Bush had proposed on NBC and CNN, W.'s aides turned to John McCain, chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee, for help. Bush wanted McCain and his House counterpart, Tom Bliley, to use their influence with the networks their committees oversee to coax them into broadcasting their rivals' programming. McCain declined. After all, it was only seven months ago that Bush, in a desperate battle to win...

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