With GOP Adrift, McCain Does Left-Right Shimmy

Candidate dances to keep conservatives, independents on his side
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 10:44 AM CDT
Reporters raise their hands as Republican presidential candidate John McCain takes questions during a media availability in Boston, Thursday, June 12, 2008.    (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – John McCain seems to be doing a sidestep between left and right while Barack Obama waltzes toward the center, Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post. On issues like energy policy, the GOP candidate lurches between riling the right and enraging greenies. Apparently feeling nostalgic, Milbank writes, "McCain's route has had more turns than a Macarena."

Poll numbers show why McCain keeps veering: Nearly half of liberals are "very enthusiastic" about Obama's candidacy, but just 13% of conservatives are that excited about McCain. "Pulled between the need to appeal to independent voters and the need to placate the still-suspicious Republican base," Milibank writes, "McCain has been stutter-stepping his way to the GOP convention."