An article in The Economist describes why independents love McCain and how McCain might lose support from the independents.
Another broad concern, too, needs scotching at the Republican convention and during the election campaign that will follow it. In his desire to get elected, Mr McCain has been prepared to abandon some of the core beliefs that made him so attractive. This is not so much true of foreign policy (Mr McCain has long been a hawk, since the successful NATO campaigns in Bosnia and Kosovo). But even here, he used to talk much more about multilateralism than he does now. On the campaign trail, Mr McCain has tended to stress the more hawkish side of his nature, for instance by promoting his idea for a “league of democracies” that risks being needlessly divisive.
Too polite to the right
But it is on domestic policy that Mr McCain has tacked to the right more disquietingly. Doubtless he feels he needs to shore up his support among the conservatives who mistrust him. But the result is that he could easily alienate the independent supporters who are his great strength. Mr Obama will sensibly hope to woo them away.
Mr McCain used to be a passionate believer in limited government and sound public finances; a man with some distaste for conservative Republicanism and its obsession with reproductive matters. On the stump, though, he has offered big tax cuts for business and the rich that he is unable to pay for, and he is much more polite to the religious right, whom he once called “agents of intolerance”. He has engaged in pretty naked populism, too, for instance in calling for a “gas-tax holiday”. If this is all just a gimmick to keep his party’s right wing happy, it may disappear again. But that is quite a gamble to take.
Hawkish foreign policy, irresponsible tax cuts, more talk about religion and abortion: all this sounds too much like Bush Three, the label the Democrats are trying to hang around the Republican’s neck. We preferred McCain One. [Bring back the real McCain. The Economist. August 28 2008]
Oh, how I wish it would have been a McCain-Lieberman instead. The more I read about Palin, the scarier the story becomes.