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Ads Debate Whether McCain is a Maverick

Michael D. Shear

LIMA, Ohio -- One of the first lessons of politics is to use your adversaries words against them.

So perhaps it is no surprise that Sen. John McCain has launched a new ad on the Internet in which politicians -- Democratic politicians -- praise him for being a maverick.

"He can work with Democrats on key issues whether it's campaign finance reform or tobacco policy. He's worked with us," says former Sen. Tom Daschle.

"He's one of the people we modeled our campaign over because he is very direct, very blunt, and nobody has to guess at what he's thinking."

Who was that? DNC Chairman Howard Dean.

And finally: "Since coming to Washington, I've believed that the right approach begins with the proposal put forward by Senator Lieberman and Senator McCain."

That was Sen. Barack Obama himself.

The ad ends with a quote from Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose primary battle with Obama produced an endless stream of priceless quotes that McCain can now take advantage of.

"I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House," Clinton says in the ad. "And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

In response, Dean issued a statement Thursday saying: "John McCain a maverick? The John McCain of 2000 wouldn't even consider voting for the John McCain of 2008. The American people are learning that the John McCain of 2008 represents more of the same failed policies we've gotten from George Bush for the past eight years."

And shortly thereafter, the DNC released its own web video.

Titled "Maverick No More," the Democratic ad quotes the same Democratic politicians saying, well, not so nice things about McCain.

"On Iraq, on the economy, on tax policy, on domestic policy, across the board. He is espousing the Bush policies. He's changed a lot since 2001," Daschle says.

And Clinton: "But in the end, after eight devastating years under President Bush, Senator McCain is simply offering four years more."

The Democrats give the final word to none other than President Bush.

"Its been my honor to welcome my friend John McCain as the nominee of the Republican Party," Bush says in the ad. "I wish you all the best. I'm proud to be your friend."

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 7, 2008; 3:28 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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The bottom line: 'maverick' is synonymous with 'cowboy'. We have a cowboy president right now and we are looking for a change. We (and the world) need a diplomatic foreign policy that builds allies and trading partners. We do not need more hot-head, unpredictable, cowboy, mavericks. "We're the only super power! Yee Haw!" McCain is the same.

Posted by: TC | August 7, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, when you change your mind on at least 14 significant positions (torture, overturning Roe v. Wade, immigration, the Bush tax cuts, offshore drilling, the public financing of his primary, warrentless wiretaps, the estate tax, Justice Alito's competance as a judge, social security privatization, whether or not increased taxes are on the table to save social security, preserving the Everglades, investigating the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the "agents of intolerance" who lead the Christian right), you basically convert from a maverick to just another Bush.

Want to bet that he changes his mind on the Iraq timetable when the Iraqi government cements its agreement with the White House and firms it up for Dec. '10?

Posted by: Jonathan | August 7, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

He's my Senator, but he's not the man I knew. Now, he's opposing his own immigration bill, when he _wrote_ the damn thing!

For the past 3 years, he's been toadying up to Bush in the hopes of getting elected. This is his last chance; he's too old to last a full 8 years in office after this.

That's why he voted with Bush 95% of the time and hired Rove's top students. He wasn't always like this, but I don't trust him any more. I was a Republican, though I'm Independent now. The Republicans have managed to become worse than the Democrats in spending our tax money. WORSE! I've always voted for McCain up until now, but no more. I'm going to vote the bums out and hope that we get some responsible Republican candidates in 4 years. Another 4 years of Bush Lite and this country will be done for.

I don't know this McCain. Don't vote for him. He's not the man you think. He can't be trusted any more.

I voted for him and now I feel betrayed by him.

Posted by: Joe | August 7, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Please, we didn't need the ads to tell us what a fool Mccain is. Mccain is a liar and his campaign has lasted this long because the media bypasses all of his gaffes and mistakes. If it was Obama or Hillary their campaign would have ended a long time ago. Mccain can lie, cheat and steal and the media will sometimes not even report it. Mccain is is old, forgetful, and miserable and he wants to make all Americans miserable like him.

Posted by: Tammy | August 7, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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