McCain Tries to Reposition as Mr. Establishment

McCain knows that establishment candidates usually win when there is no incumbent running.

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After long emphasizing his maverick ways, John McCain has suddenly shifted to an emphasis on being the establishment favorite for the GOP presidential nomination. McCain's campaign is trumpeting endorsements from party leaders, ranging from Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to lesser figures such as Florida State Rep. Mitch Needelman of Melbourne. McCain knows that rebels usually lose the GOP nomination and establishment candidates usually win when there is no incumbent running. McCain is also trying to create the appearance of an establishment groundswell by announcing a long string of newspaper endorsements. During a single day last week, he listed a dozen newspapers in his corner, including six in California. Of course, given the low standing of the media, support from the press might not be as helpful as it used to be.