Maverick Mac Has Become Slave to System

Candidate ditches hard truths for what works — ripping Obama
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2008 12:34 PM CDT
John McCain once toyed with the idea of picking fellow Sen. Joseph Lieberman as a running mate, but Republican officials have effectively nixed the cross-party choice.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – John McCain has transformed from a maverick politician with bold ideas for America to a conventional campaigner so desperate for airtime his main tactic is putting down Barack Obama, David Brooks writes in the New York Times. And now that McCain has abandoned his rebellious, post-partisan style, the "inescapable fact is: It is working."

McCain set out with plans to "venture forth on the back of his bus, going places other Republicans don’t go, saying things politicians don’t say, offering the country the vision of a different kind of politics—free of circus antics—in which serious people sacrifice for serious things," Brooks writes. But it took a return to traditional electioneering to close the double-digit gap with Obama.