The Tribune editorial board has some advice for Republicans looking to reinvent their sinking brand -- latch on to the presumptive presidential nominee:
McCain seems to realize that Republicans lost the U.S. House in 2006 because voters lost trust in Republicans, ...
McCain seems to realize that Republicans lost the U.S. House in 2006 because voters lost trust in Republicans, largely because of sleazy scandals and wasteful spending. McCain is evidence that a Republican can be true to conservative principles without being slavish to them.
McCain is going to set a new tone for Republican leaders, and that's going to be a welcome change, whether they deserve it or not.
But there's a slight problem with this suggestion. If it's "sleazy scandals and wasteful spending" you're hoping to avoid, McCain may not be your man.
For wasteful spending, look no further than Iraq, which had cost the average family of four $16,500 as of April 15 and will continue to federal coffers as long as McCain keeps our troops in the region. And while the definition of "sleazy" is fairly subjective, the Arizona senator's involvement with lobbyists should raise some serious question marks. Today's Washington Post reports that Tom Loeffler, McCain's national finance co-chairman, is the "fifth person to sever ties with the campaign amid a growing concern over whether lobbyists have too great an influence over the Republican nominee."
It's hard to imagine McCain carrying the mantle of a "new," more trustworthy GOP. Despite his carefully-crafted reputation as a "maverick," he has been a key player in Washington politics for decades and he's equally responsible for the failures of Republican governance. It's going to take a lot more than talking points and tonal shifts to clean up Bush's mess.