GOP: Incumbents in Opposition Clothing

Establishment party adopts anti-establishment stance
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2008 7:02 AM CDT
John McCain acknowledges cheers after accepting his party's nomination for president during last night at the Republican National Convention.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The Republican National Convention was so full of calls for change and vows to clean up Washington that it was almost easy to forget that the GOP has been in power for the last 8 years, writes Peter Baker in the New York Times. John McCain is seeking to distance himself from his party's recent record, and trying to seize the "change" mantra for himself.

McCain is as well-placed as any Republican to run on a platform of change, given his maverick status—highlighted by his surprise pick of Sarah Palin as running mate—and his occasional scraps with President Bush, Baker argues. The Democrats, however, won't be backing away from the "McBush" line of attack anytime soon. "As a matter of history," notes Baker, "it is easier to run as the opposition party if you actually are the opposition party."