McCain’s Got a Squeeze Box

The AP’s Glen Johnson sees McCain going in and out and in and out (because, maybe, where’s the melody in “trying to have it both ways?”):

John McCain embraces and expels Washington like an accordion player belting out a song.

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…

Squeeze in, and he’s the new capital tour guide for his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“I can’t wait to introduce her to Washington, D.C. I can’t wait,” he said to cheers Monday in Jacksonville.

Draw out, and he’s never set foot in the city himself.

“The word’s going out, my friends: The old-boy network, the pork-barrelers, the earmarkers, my friends, the word is, ‘Change is coming,’” McCain said. “There’s two mavericks coming to Washington, and we’re going to shake it up.”…

There are even times when McCain does both - squeeze in and draw out - in the same thought…

“I know how to fix it. I know how to fix the corruption,” he said of the nation’s economic problems during an appearance Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “I’ve been fighting it the whole time I’ve been in Congress.”

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.