John McCain has tried to paint Barack Obama as an unknown risk of a candidate—but these days, McCain is the unfamiliar one, Maureen Dowd writes. The Arizona senator used to be “one of the best brands in politics,” a “known and knowable quantity” that was transparent to the press. Now, his campaign has transformed him into a Bushie-backed “question mark,” she notes in the New York Times.
McCain’s campaign manager turned the “vibrant and respected” Republican “into a shell of his former self,” Dowd writes. The candidate has surrounded himself with “mercenaries trained in the same Rovian tactics that tore up his family.” Topping it off is his camp’s handling of Sarah Palin, which created “Democratic-style infighting” in the GOP as some of McCain's own built her up, then knocked her down.