The interests on tough ethics reform banning corporate favors for legislators converged with Obama, who pushed similar reform in the Illinois state Senate, and McCain on a joint measure the two future presidential candidates pushed in late 2005.
But the relationship crumbled after about a week, with both camps publicly swapping angry letters. McCain accused Obama of "self-interested partisan posturing" while Obama said McCain couldn't show enough leadership to reach across the partisan divide, The Washington Post said Monday.
As the presidential campaign looks more and more like an Obama-McCain contest, the Post says, supporters of both candidates have been weighing in on their behalf. Former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said the event is typical of Obama's "grandstanding" while Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said it shows Obama's ability to "get things done."
Regardless, neither candidate is taking the bait, with both sides saying they have an amicable relationship on Capital Hill.
The event highlights, however, the row brewing under the surface of the presidential race, with Obama and McCain having a track record of acrimony, in contrast to the working relationship enjoyed by McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's rival in the race to the White House.