Once, he called Jerry Falwell an agent of intolerance. Then, he hugged him as he gave a commencement address at Liberty U. Once, he had spoken out against massive tax cuts during "a time of war"; now, he wants to make them permanent. Once, he had wavered on the whole issue of abortion. Now, he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. On issue after issue, he had shed his former persona and revealed himself to be nothing more than just another Republican politician, pandering to the far right to get his party's nomination for President.
They never gave up hope in the original dream, though. Something, anything to prove the charm that had attracted them in the first place was still there under the layers of pancake that never left because of all the television appearances, under the smell of barbecue from his ranch, there had to be some trace of the wild fighter pilot they knew and loved.
Dan Balz wrote the headline because, like so many, he found what he was looking for:
With Pick, McCain Reclaims His Maverick Image
That's all it took to reclaim their love. Pick an inexperienced, unknown politician for his running mate. Give away the one possible major rhetorical advantage he had over Obama in a daft move to woo those who needed wooing most - the press.
This move was not aimed at the public. This move was not aimed at the Republican Party. The announcement of Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain's VP running mate was designed for one thing, and one thing only - to get the press to stop paying attention to Barack Obama and return to the one they loved first, and far better.
Sad to say, it worked.