Last week—just before the Las Vegas shootings—New York Times columnist Joe Nocera told readers that he was ending "The Gun Report," the popular daily rundown of gun violence in America he'd created in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre. The reason, insiders say, was that the Times didn't want to give his assistant a pay raise for writing it.
In a special four-minute comment that aired during this morning's news broadcast on La Crosse, Wisconsin's CBS affiliate WKBT, news anchor/reporter Jennifer Livingston responded to a viewer who wrote in to the station to chide Livingston for not providing "a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular," by appearing on television despite being overweight.
John McCain and his running mate are both indeed political outsiders by character. Their record of going against the Republican establishment—McCain in Washington, DC and Sarah Palin in Alaska—is undeniable and the designation of "maverick" has been succesfully affixed by sheer brazen repetition at this week's party convention. The Obama campaign's response—even after Palin's unusual performance last night in St. Paul—has been merely to repeat that the supposedly independent-minded hero at the top of the ticket has in fact voted with George Bush 90% of the time. Wrong answer. McCain's campaign has admitted to the candidate's greatest vulnerability: it's precisely because he's such a maverick that voters shouldn't trust him with power. The Democrats should accept McCain as a maverick—a dangerous maverick—and turn that quality against him.