Here's George W. Bush speaking about John McCain, February 10, on Fox News Sunday:
"I know him well. I know his convictions. I know the principles that drive him. And no doubt in my mind he's a true conservative... He's very strong on national defense. He's tough fiscally. He believes that tax cuts ought to be permanent. He's pro-life. I mean, his principles are sound and solid as far as I'm concerned."
Bush is telling people privately that "McCain would be the best to carry forth [my] agenda."
Here's Jeb Bush endorsing John McCain, February 11, in an email from the McCain campaign:
"John McCain is a patriot and devoted conservative leader. Like no other candidate in the field, John McCain has made tremendous sacrifices for this nation. He is beholden to no interest other than that of the public good. He is determined and steadfast in his commitment to reducing the burden of high taxes, restoring the people's trust in their government, and winning the war against radical Islamic extremists. It is with pride that I announce my endorsement of John McCain for president."
And here's Karl Rove speaking about John McCain, February 10, on Face the Nation:
"I did contribute [$2,300 to him]...My mind was he is our presumptive nominee and it was time to write him a check."
The establishment welcomes the maverick. As if it had any other choice...