Associated Press calls McCain 'two-faced'
John Byrne
Published: Wednesday September 17, 2008

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"John McCain embraces and expels Washington like an accordion player belting out a song," the Associated Press' Glen Johnson writes Wednesday. "Squeeze in and he touts his vast knowledge of the capital city. Draw out and he casts himself a reformer bent on changing its ways."

Focusing on the tendency of McCain to try and straddle the Republican fence, the wire service leads with the headline, "McCain has 2 faces: Washington in- and outsider."

"It's a remarkable dichotomy echoed throughout the Republican establishment," Johnson adds, "as a party that's held the White House for the past eight years tries to retain its grip in what has shaped up as a change election. None other than the current president's brother has shown the GOP's willingness to deny the past as it looks to the future."

After several weeks focused on McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, some of the press seems to be turning their sights back on the Arizona senator. For Johnson, at least, the light isn't terribly flattering. He even mocks former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. He quotes Bush telling a McCain "is the right guy at the right time to make that happen."

Retorts Johnson, "The Good Lord knows we need reform in Washington?"

"Did George W. Bush disown his younger brother after that close call with the hanging chads in 2000? Is Jeb harboring a grudge after those stories about how the Bush family expected him not George to follow their father as president? Did the Democrats control the White House for the past eight years, or both chambers of Congress for the first six of them?"

"No," he quips. "Republicans did."

He does credit McCain for challenging Congress on campaign finance and other "reform measures," whose credentials were such that he could be thought of as bipartisan enough to be considered for the Democrats' 2004 ticket.

Johnson pokes fun at McCain when speaking of his current running mate, saying that McCain is "the new capital tour guide" for Sarah Palin, quoting McCain: "I can't wait to introduce her to Washington, D.C. I can't wait."

The full AP article is available here.