So is John McCain a maverick who can elicit praise from across the aisle, or isn't he?
The Arizona Republican's campaign put out a web-ad this morning that featured past encomiums from several high-profile Democrats. The DNC wasted no time assembling their response ... using the same Democrats as McCain's campaign.
The DNC's response piece is a skillful mimic of McCain's ad -- straight down to the loping, country slide guitar boogie rhythm on the soundtrack.
Sens. Joe Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, former Sen. Tom Daschle, and DNC Chairman Howard Dean all offer up-to-date evaluations of McCain, summed up by the ad's first two titles: "John McCain ... Maverick No More."
But where McCain's ad used Hillary Clinton's praise as the coup de grace, Democrats are giving President George W. Bush the closing honors.
After a title card reads "Let's Let President Bush Have The Final Say," the president proclaims:
"It's been my honor to welcome my friend John McCain as the nominee of the Republican Party. I wish you all the best. I'm proud to be your friend."
TEXT: John McCain ...Maverick No More.
Senator Joe Biden: "But stylistically and substantively, there is no daylight between George Bush and John McCain. They are joined at the hip."
Senator John Kerry: "John McCain has changed in profound and fundamental ways that I find personally really surprising, and frankly upsetting. He is not the John McCain as a senator who defined himself quote as a 'maverick' though questionable. This is a different John McCain."
Senator Tom Daschle: "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."
Senator Hillary Clinton: "But in the end, after eight devastating years under President Bush, Senator McCain is simply offering four years more."
DNC Chairman Howard Dean: "You know, the John McCain of 2000 wouldn't' vote for this John McCain. We don't need another four years of George Bush. What he's proposing is four more years of George Bush's economic policy and its ridiculous and its unfair the American people."
TEXT: Let's Let President Bush Have the Final Say
President Bush: "Its been my honor to welcome my friend John McCain as the nominee of the Republican Party... I wish you all the best. I'm proud to be your friend."
TEXT: We Can't Afford Another Four Years of the Same Old Politics.