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The Honest Republican?
Posted on June 25th, 2007 by Dan Benbow -

He stands with his waders submerged in mud above the article title "Prisoner of Conscience," clad in beat up old bluejeans, a blue denim shirt under a green hunting vest, a black baseball cap on his head.  To his left is a fishing pole, perched on a rock pointing away; at his feet his loyal springer spaniel looks with master directly into the camera.  He is everyman.  He is Republican Senator John McCain, a.k.a. Straight Talkin’ McCain, and he is running for president.
 
In the opening paragraphs of “Prisoner” the writer says of his subject:  "In an age of pre-fab, blow-dried, plasticized politicians, McCain remains palpably, pungently human."  The burning question of the 10,000-word love letter in February’s Vanity Fair is:  does John McCain possess the guile necessary to be a successful candidate?  And would McCain even want the presidency if he has to sell his soul to get it?

Throughout his 24 years in Congress, McCain has gained a reputation for speaking his mind, consequences be damned, often in opposition to the Republican Party line of the moment.  McCain has bucked the GOP - sometimes loudly - on gun show loopholes, lobbying reform, HMO reform, campaign finance reform, stem cell research, climate change, gay marriage, amnesty for illegal immigrants, seeking compensation from tobacco companies and upholding the filibuster.  In a party long run with and on authoritarian discipline, this is a novelty that the press can’t get enough of.  

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