Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Candidate of Change

John Dickerson, at Slate, discusses the challenges facing a former straight-talker whose recent record consists of flagrant flip-flopping, in "Straightening out McCain's Straight Talk"

"I think John McCain has exhibited the ongoing debate in his own campaign between John McCain and John McCain," said John Kerry, no doubt relishing the chance to tar a Republican with the brush that killed him.

"You don't know what he means on torture, taxes, tolerance of Jerry Falwell, changed on drilling. Here you have a flip-flop by John McCain, flipping to the right and then flipping backward."
Dickerson points to the risk facing a flip-flopping candidate whose appeal used to rest on a reputation for candor, courage and character:

John Kerry reeled off a pretty good list of McCain reversals.

You can add McCain's evolution on issues like the estate tax—or the snafus that come from his fatigue, his light familiarity with new policy details, and the probability that when you talk all day long to reporters, you're going to slip up sometimes.

At some point, the list of slip-sliding becomes too long for voters.
It is funny now to recall the sarcasm and contemptuous snickering from McCain in one of the GOP debates, as he mocked that other aggressive flip-flopper, Mitt Romney, as the "candidate of change."

I think he'll be eating those words over the next few months.

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posted at 11:26:00 AM by Neil

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