Republican John McCain is down in the polls. Critics assail the tone of his campaign. All those rallies where running mate Sarah Palin said their rival Democrat Barack Obama "palled around" with domestic terrorists. All those red-meat crowds yelling "terrorist" at any mention of Obama's name.
So today McCain unveiled his new "I'm a fighter" speech, hoping to resurrect his presidential campaign with a promise to be the kind of pugilistic, populist politician who battles against Big Mean Interests for his fellow citizens.
And who was the first target of his punches? Sure he hit Obama with a few, charging that the Illinois senator plans to raise taxes and cut trade. "The last president to raise taxes and restrict trade in a bad economy as Sen. Obama proposes was Herbert Hoover," said McCain. "That didn't turn out too well."
But McCain seemed to reserve his greatest venom for the incumbent, George W. Bush, a fellow Republican who defeated the Arizona senator in 2000 and perhaps kept the 72-year-old McCain from his best shot at the White House.
At a rally in Virginia Beach, McCain said:
We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late; our troubles are getting worse; our enemies watch. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight.