John McCain, Maverick No More

The onetime frontrunner has put off moderates and turned off conservatives

Christopher Morris / VII for TIME

U.S. Senator John McCain on board his private plane during presidential campaign stops in South Carolina.

One of the enduring mysteries about the implosion of John McCain's campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination is why his highly paid handlers thought they could take a candidate to whom maverick has been so often applied that it's a cliché and package him using the most traditional, by-the-book formula for winning the Republican nomination. His campaign staffers even refer to their operation as McCain 2.0, as if this McCain were a new and improved product. But in fact, the original version would have seemed far more suited to a political climate in which dissatisfied voters believe the country has taken...

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