Is McCain McBush?

Here is my take in this week’s Maclean’s.

Whatever you might think of McCain, he has shown amazing capacity for taking heat from his own party. Today, Michael Gerson, President Bush’s former speechwriter, summed him up this way:

“Contrary to some depictions, McCain is not a moderate. He is a conservative with a habit of massive, eye-stretching heresy.”

Speaking of heresies… the big story here in Washington is Obama’s decision to opt-out of the public campaign finance system. David Brooks says it’s downright Macchiavellian.

Ben Smith notes that John Kerry says he would have won the electoin if he’d done the same thing:

“The only people who care about it are a few professional activists and the press,” said Bob Shrum, who argued – unsuccessfully – in 2004 that his client John Kerry should have opted out of public financing. (Kerry said Thursday he would have won the race had he done so.)

Adds Ben:

Kerry’s campaign, Shrum wrote in his memoir, “No Excuses,” had a fierce internal debate over whether to opt out of public financing. Obama’s never seems to have seriously considered sacrificing its political advantage for a principle, and seems cheerfully resigned to being chided by East Coast editorial boards.

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