FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
John McCain became a household name by riding across country in a bus called The Straight Talk Express. But these days, "straight talk" seems just about the last way to describe what's coming out of his mouth.
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McCain now holds a comfortable lead over his primary opponent, J.D. Hayworth, as he makes a run for his fifth term representing Arizona in the U.S. Senate, but as Politico describes it, it's a "costly road" that could likely leave a "lasting and unsightly stain on his legacy."
For starters - John McCain, once a champion of campaign finance reform, has spent more than $20 million ahead of tomorrow's primary. And there are the positions McCain's taking - which are completely different from positions he took during his "maverick" days.
McCain was a sponsor of comprehensive immigration reform with Ted Kennedy. No more... now he's flipped on the issue. Big time. He supports Arizona's tough immigration law, and spends more time talking about border security and finishing "the danged fence." McCain has gone from maverick to panderer.
He's also changed his tune on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He once said he supported the repeal of the policy, but is now promising to filibuster any bill that would do just that.
Climate change? McCain used to be a leader on that issue, and now he's pretty much steering clear of it.
How sad. McCain used to stand up for what he thought was right. Now, at age 73, he's just another politician willing to sell out his principles for a vote. See it's the only way to save his political life - and get the support of the conservative Republicans who vote in Arizona's primary. The maverick has become a hypocrite.
Here’s my question to you: Has political ambition ruined John McCain's legacy?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I completely agree. The only political donation I ever made, and the only political t-shirt I have ever worn, was for McCain and his Straight Talk in the 2000 election. The principled maverick I supported has sold those principles one by one, in 2004, 2008, and now, and what is left is just another say-what-I-need-to-say politician. What he was once above, he is now a poster child for.
James in Lebanon, Pennsylvania writes:
Are you seriously asking this question now? It's about a couple years too late. Your answer lies in his selection of a running mate in 2008.
Rob in Washington writes:
I worked for Senator McCain over a decade ago and I am greatly saddened to say I barely recognize this version of the man. I miss the guy who went after problems regardless of the polling and in close partnership with anyone who was willing to tackle the tough stuff regardless of which side of the aisle they were from.
Laura in Arizona writes:
As an Arizona voter, I've found it painful to watch John McCain change his position on issues of national importance. However, I have seen too many good candidates get trounced by crazy right-wing voters in my state and I am willing to forgive McCain almost anything so long he beats Hayworth in the Republican primary. Perhaps that makes me jaded, but the thought of Hayworth representing me in Congress is repulsive. Sometimes people sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole and I guarantee you that whatever McCain has sacrificed to win this election was well worth the trade off - the entire country should send him a "thank you" note when he wins the primary.
Jack, You say he's a hypocrite and a flip-flopper. Some think there's another possibility: John McCain has flat-out lost his mind. After all, he tried to convince Americans that a winking leather pant suit should be a heartbeat away from the presidency. I'm 51 and I lose my keys and my glasses. McCain, at 73, seems to have lost his principles.
All I know is that I'm so old I remember when I respected John McCain.