John McCain’s acceptance speech was remarkable, honorable, and sometimes moving, but also sounded like a valedictory, “more the end of a career than the beginning of a presidency,” writes Joe Klein of Time. McCain was short on new ideas—the policy section "was a half-hearted and unadventurous slog through the world of policy." But who but McCain would so comprehensively admit his party’s failures?
He also movingly admitted some personal weakness, saying plainly of his time in the Hanoi Hilton, “They broke me.” It was a reminder of the great politician McCain once was, but it rang a tad false beside "the scurrilous, sarcastic speeches he allowed to be delivered on Wednesday night." Ultimately McCain “didn’t present anything more than his own integrity as an action plan.” And his reputation for integrity has been badly damaged.