DNC - McCain has diluted his rare reputation

Washington, DC--A Baltimore Sun article out yesterday details the uphill climb John McCain faces heading towards the White House. Having tossed aside his "maverick" persona and "cheapened his own brand," Senator McCain has "embraced President Bush and attempted to become, like Bush, the choice of the Republican establishment." But this could pose a problem for Senator McCain, who is now "running as the nominee of the incumbent party in the White House, with the U.S. economy in distress, Bush's job rating in the toilet and the sourest public mood in at least 20 years." Looking towards a general election where Americans are looking for change, not a third Bush term, Senator McCain's prospects for victory in November look dim.

The following are excerpts of yesterday's story:

McCain has diluted his rare reputation
By Paul West
Baltimore Sun
June 15, 2008

"John McCain once had the most powerful brand in American politics…Voters have notoriously short memories, but it could be argued that McCain cheapened his own brand. He embraced President Bush and attempted to become, like Bush, the choice of the Republican establishment. In the process, he helped obliterate recollections of his first run for president, when he became the first Republican in a long time with strong crossover appeal to independents and Democrats. Losing his reputation for independence could prove particularly costly this year. The current campaign environment is among 'the worst in modern history for Republicans,' McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said recently…

"McCain's popularity peaked in 2004, about the time he threw his energy into re-electing Bush, according to the polls. Last week, McCain's negatives among registered voters hit an all-time high of 34 percent in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey. Voters who don't like McCain are, by an overwhelming margin, rejecting his political beliefs, not the kind of person he is, a recent Pew poll found. McCain will be running as the nominee of the incumbent party in the White House, with the U.S. economy in distress, Bush's job rating in the toilet and the sourest public mood in at least 20 years….

"For many voters, his image today is as an outspoken defender of an unpopular war in Iraq and a supporter of Bush's economic policies, including the tax cuts that McCain voted against in the Senate but now promotes as a presidential candidate. Interviews this spring with swing voters in primary states underscored the depth of McCain's challenge…In the three months since McCain wrapped up the nomination, he has yet to project a consistent general election message, some Republicans say, and his campaign's efforts to rebrand him as an independent have been halting, at best."

For the full article, click here:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/bal-te.infocus15jun15,0,4687694.story