17 Stories

'Maverick' McCain Now Most Conservative Senator

He's tied for first in National Journal's rankings

(Newser) - John McCain's reputation as a maverick Republican willing to cross party lines has been slipping for a while, and this will all but kill it: He's been officially crowned the most conservative senator by the National Journal . (His 89.7 vote rating actually ties him with seven others: Jim DeMint,... More »

Forget the Maverick: Meet the 'Real McCain'

He's not a reformer so much as a 'ruthless and self-centered survivor'

(Newser) - After John McCain's multiple zigzags this year on everything from climate change to immigration in his once-desperate Senate race, people kept wondering what happened to McCain the maverick. A new Vanity Fair profile by Todd Purdum suggests a simple answer: "Nothing at all" happened, because that maverick never existed.... More »

McCain Has Sold His Soul: Jon Stewart

Disavowing 'maverick' rep like Giuliani pleading 9./11 ignorance

(Newser) - Jon Stewart is flabbergasted at John McCain’s recent assertion that “I never considered myself a maverick.” The Comedy Central host doesn’t “even fucking need to” toss to a montage showing how often McCain has claimed the maverick label. Despite all of the Arizona senator’s... More »

In Piling On Palin, Liberals Make Fools of Themselves

...and legitimize her as a true rogue

(Newser) - Watching liberals vilify Sarah Palin all over again bothers Lee Siegel. He finds her terrifying as a political prospect—"some of her positions, like her religious opposition to health-care reform and her opposition to stem-cell research, strike me as just shy of sociopathic"—but as an American story,... More »

Lieberman's Name Ain't Benedict

We need more pols who cross party lines, says maverick junior

(Newser) - Joe Lieberman’s taking a lot of heat for saying he’ll join a GOP filibuster of the health care bill, but Meghan McCain thinks it’s the kind of courageous stand we need more of in politics. “It’s no secret I have an aversion to partisan politics... More »

Snowe, Not Palin, Is GOP's Real Maverick

Maine senator's yes on health reform isn't first time breaking with the party

(Newser) - Today’s committee vote for a key health-reform measure isn’t the first time Sen. Olympia Snowe has broken with fellow Republicans—and leads Laurie Kellman to call her, and not former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP’s real maverick. Snowe also voted for President Obama’s stimulus package,... More »

Maverick McCain Back in Action

But for some Republicans, Mac's just a pain

(Newser) - Too bad John McCain couldn’t get this story written before the election: the New York Times reports that, back in the Senate, McCain is reverting from his dour, orthodox campaign persona to his maverick and frequently bipartisan ways. He’s been hanging out with President Obama, and he told... More »

Obama Turning to McCain for Advice

Former rival is honored guest at inauguration party

(Newser) - Not only is John McCain in town for Barack Obama's inauguration, he's the guest of honor at an event celebrating it, reports the New York Times. In fact, the president-elect has been discreetly consulting his former rival—the one Obama said America can't trust on the Iraq war—on Iraq,... More »

Six Ways to Rebuild the McCain Brand

In defeat, the maverick can remind Americans why they liked him

(Newser) - The fight for the presidency has left John McCain's reputation battered and bruised, but Christopher Beam of Slate suggests six steps the senator should take to return to glory.
  • Remeet the press. The bad blood between McCain and the media can be removed if he stops clamming up and "
... More »

Campaign Buzzwords We'll Be Happy to Discard

The pitbull with lipstick might've been a game-changer, but enough already

(Newser) - It's an inevitability of any election season: Some phrases will get bandied around so much that the hapless American, simply trying to do his civic duty by paying attention, will be crushed under the sheer weight of political verbiage. The Red Eye lists the worst offenders:
  • Change: As in, change
... More »

Who Lost the Race? Blame the Maverick

Or, more accurately, the gadfly who couldn't run a campaign

(Newser) - John McCain could still win the election, but it would be in spite of himself, writes Rich Lowry in the National Review. If Republicans are laying blame for the 2008 race, they should lay it on John McCain, paradoxically the best and worst candidate they could have fielded. McCain’s... More »

McCain Biographer: He's Lost His Principles

McCain's best accomplishments might have been cynical maneuvering

(Newser) - Elizabeth Drew liked McCain—she even wrote a fawning biography, Citizen McCain, in 2002. She respected the centrist who emerged after McCain’s failed 2000 primary bid, who broke from Bush on tax cuts and campaign finance reform. But watching McCain’s current campaign maneuver back to the right, she... More »

McCain Tries to be Outsider and Insider at Once

He promotes his experience, but seeks to be face of change

(Newser) - John McCain embraces and expels Washington like an accordion player belting out a song, writes Glen Johnson. Squeeze in and he touts his vast knowledge of the capital city. Draw out and he casts himself a reformer bent on changing its ways. It's a remarkable dichotomy echoed throughout the Republican... More »

How Fair Is the 'Third Term' Jab?

McCain offers some differences, but largely agrees with Bush

(Newser) - With President Bush posting record disapproval ratings, Democrats have gleefully dubbed a John McCain presidency a "third Bush term." The claim is at least partially justified, reports the New York Times in an analysis of the "McBush" charge—McCain agrees with Bush on taxation, health care, the... More »

Lindsey Graham, McCain's 'Mini-Me'

Why the South Carolina senator is proud to be belittled by GOP candidate

(Newser) - Sen. Lindsey Graham must be getting something special from his friendship with John McCain, Politico writes, because he's willing to be dubbed Mac’s “mini-me” in the press—and called “little jerk” by the candidate himself. Of course, it's worth it for the first-term South Carolina Republican, who... More »

Noonan to McCain: Tell Us What You Believe In

Journal pundit criticizes candidate for lack of guiding philosophy

(Newser) - Peggy Noonan takes the measure of John McCain in today's Wall Street Journal and wonders "what does he stand for, really?" A friend of the senator's speculates on his "complacency" now that he's secured the nomination, and Noonan goes off: "You have to want the presidency or... More »

McCain Hitches Hopes to Petraeus' Star

Steadfast support of war, general may help candidate gain traction

(Newser) - John McCain’s presidential prospects may rest on his criticism of the Bush administration and his support for David Petraeus, and if the situation allows, the Arizona senator will be rewarded for his support of an unpopular war, the Politico's Roger Simon contends. McCain bemoans the “many mistakes” made... More »

17 Stories