McCain & Charlie Gibson

By Thomas Nagorski

Oct 31, 2008 1:00pm

Charlie Gibson just concluded an interview with Senator McCain in Ohio. It’s a wide-ranging, end-of-the-campaign conversation — covering everything from people a President McCain would draw advice from (Kissinger and Schultz, Meg Whitman and John Chambers), current cabinet members he might ask to stay on (Robert Gates), his dissatisfaction with the way the $700 billion rescue program is being implemented, the polls (he believes they’re tightening) and Sarah Palin’s future, win or lose. Here are a couple of early excerpts…full transcript later: GIBSON: Senator, everybody’s focused on November 4th. MCCAIN: Yes. Understandably. GIBSON: I wonder how much thought and planning you’ve given to November 5th and what begins then. MCCAIN: Yes. I’ve thought about it and I’ve talked to my adviser about it. And we lay out a tentative kind of thing. But, frankly, Charlie, Americans don’t like for you to measure the drapes. They want you to win first. And that’s why we have a period of time between the election and the inauguration. So, of course, I think about it. But for me to start picking my chief of staff or that kind of stuff is something we’ve got plenty of time for. GIBSON: You said irresponsible to measure the drapes. But do you have in mind a spreadsheet of people that you would bring into a McCain administration? MCCAIN: Oh, sure. Yes. Yes. A long list of or acquaintances and people that I’ve known for a quarter of a century but there’s also people who are wise people who may not come into the official position — Henry Kissinger. Henry Kissinger is a man I’ve admired and respected ever since the day I came out of prison camp in Vietnam. I call Henry all the time. Now, are Henry and I always in agreement? No. George Schultz, secretary of the treasury, secretary of state, probably wouldn’t want to come back and work in Washington, but I’m in constant contact with him. GIBSON: But are these new faces we would see in a McCain administration? You’ve talked about change? MCCAIN: Well, Democrats as well as Republicans. And if I start going down a list of names — but they are respected people in America. GIBSON: Democrats? MCCAIN: Of course. No, no. A lot of Democrats. But I think the key now, restoring trust and confidence. How do you do that? By having trusted and respected people in your government, people — Meg Whitman, founder of eBay. People say, gee, that’s the person that turned the ten employee business into one that employs 1.3 million people in America. That’s a person — a woman we can identify with, a leader we can identify. Those kinds of people. Of course, I would look to Silicon Valley as well. Some of the success stories there. John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco. Fred Smith, who’s made a great success out of FedEx. Obviously, I would want the advice of someone like Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker and others who are respected Democrats. Others that Americans can say, hey, this will give us some confidence and trust back.

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