"Even for those of us who shudder at many of John McCain’s positions, there is something refreshing about a man who wins so many votes despite a major political shortcoming: he is abysmal at pandering."
That sums up what I've been trying to say about McCain around here lately. Sure I don't agree with a lot of his positions. For me at least, that is true of all the candidates, fringe or otherwise. Yet McCain's willingness to buck his party on torture and immigration, his willingness to give potential voters bad news, his steadfast opposition to earmarks, endears him to me in a very real way.
Kristof goes even further and claims to see a trend:
"It’s also striking that Barack Obama is leading a Democratic field in which he has been the candidate who is least-scripted and most willing to annoy primary voters, whether in speaking about Reagan’s impact on history or on the suffering of Palestinians.
All of this is puzzlingly mature on the part of the electorate. A common complaint about President Bush is that he walls himself off from alternative points of view, but the American public has the same management flaw: it normally fires politicians who tell them bad news."