McCain Again Banking on Reform Rep

Campaign finance, particularly, re-enters candidate's public line
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 2:38 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain greets a supporter during a town hall-style meeting in Albuquerque, NM, yesterday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – After shying away from the issue for some time, John McCain is returning to his credentials as a crusader for campaign-finance reform, Politico notes. In an attempt to woo independent voters, the Republican is underlining his reputation as a Washington reformer, while coping with flak from small-government conservatives within his party—comparing himself to Teddy Roosevelt in the process.

McCain is striving to top even Barack Obama’s image as change agent, beating him to be first to respond to a request for extensive information on small donors. "There is a risk," one strategist notes, "but the McCain campaign has calculated that the upside outweighs the downside as far as presenting him as a reformer who does the hard things for what he believes is the good of the country.”