June 15, 2008

It looks like voters are starting to recognize that McCain 2.0 is nothing like McCain 1.0.

John McCain once had the most powerful brand in American politics.

He was often called the country's most popular politician and widely admired for his independent streak. It wasn't too many years ago that "maverick" was the cliche of choice in describing him.

[The term 'reformer'] didn't even make the list this year when voters were asked by the Pew Research Center to sum up McCain in a single word
. "Old" got the most mentions, followed by "honest," "experienced," "patriot," "conservative" and a dozen more. The words "independent," "change" or "reformer" weren't among them.

If this poll were taken eight years ago, John McCain would somewhat justifiably be described as an "honest, independent, bipartisan, maverick reformer." Therein lies the tragedy of McCain's 2008 run. In order to secure the support of the dwindling GOP base, McCain has to embrace the very worst aspects of Bush agenda, many of which he publicly opposed not too long ago. This is the case that must be made this election. Every admirable quality John McCain ever possesed has been opportunistically sacrificed at the altar of Republican politics. It's encouraging to see voters coming to realize this.

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