GRACIOUS TO A FAULT…. It did seem a little jarring to see John McCain deliver such a high-profile speech at the Clinton Global Initiative this morning. One might think the former president would be more cognizant of the larger political dynamic.

But as Matt Yglesias noted, Bill Clinton seems to be driven by other considerations.

It sure was nice of Bill Clinton to put important national concerns above petty partisanship by agreeing to host a John McCain campaign speech and help the GOP nominee burnish his bipartisan credentials. You might think a former President would be so committed to an axe-grinding agenda that he couldn’t see the big picture. But not Bill — he puts country first, not some personal agenda.

Oh what’s that you say? His wife ran for the Democratic nomination and lost? Think that might be relevant?

I’d just add that McCain voted — twice — to remove Clinton from office during the impeachment fiasco; McCain has publicly mocked Clinton’s daughter for cheap laughs; and McCain repeatedly trashed Clinton’s wife when he thought she would be the Democratic nominee.

But never mind all of that. This morning, McCain wanted to score a few points, grab a few headlines, and bolster his bipartisan bona fides, and Bill Clinton was anxious to give the Republican nominee a hand.

The former president is gracious to a fault, isn’t he?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.