This must be the clear, clean and simple narrative that Obama must present to voters about Senator McCain. Senator Obama has been testing this theme a bit this week with his pushback against the tire gauge silliness but he needs to be banging this drum loud, hard and often. He also needs to deliver this message himself instead of through surrogates. What better way to show you're not aloof than to get your hands dirty yourself.
I humbly offer that Obama might consider saying something like this:
"What happened to maverick Senator McCain?
John McCain was a hero of mine. He and folks like Richard Lugar and Chuck Hagel were independent voices in an increasingly bitter and partisan Washington. When I was fortunate enough to be elected to the Senate he was one of the senators I was most eager to work with.
I miss that John McCain.
To see the former 'maverick' senator now parrot a broken GOP platform that he had spent his entire career voting against and denouncing I cannot now and don't think I will ever understand.
To see the once 'straight-talker' surrender his presidential campaign to the very same Bush-Rove operatives that so viciously assassinated not only his own character but savaged his own wife and child, just makes me sad.
This Bush-Rove crew is really a piece of work. They seem intent at only appealing to ugliness and fear. 'Country First' is the slogan they've settled on. What other option for an American President is there? Can they really be so vile as to question my unshakeable love for this country?
Because if that is what they are implying at least have the guts to say it to my face.
You can't spout a slogan like "Country First" while at the same time selling out your country to the Bush-Cheney Big Oil interests who've pumped $2 million into your campaign.
That's Big Oil first, country second.
You can't call yourself, "The American President Americans have been waiting for," without implying that I and the other tens of millions of descendants of immigrants are any less American than you are.
You promised to run an honorable campaign and so far, Senator McCain, your campaign has been anything but.
I will not stand for your Bush-Rove henchmen to cheapen one of the most noble and uplifting events in world history -- the election of an American president. And neither should you.
I'm running for president so that together we Americans can fix the corrosive culture of insider politics and the next generation of mavericks can come to Washington and keep the courage that got them there in the first place."