Being labeled a 'maverick' sounds good to the public, but it makes it hard to forge bipartisan deals.
So far the fall campaign has majored in Sarah Palin, with a minor in the false ads launched (though rarely widely aired) by John McCain. Rather than debating whether Barack Obama voted to teach sex education to kindergartners (he didn't) or called Sarah Palin a pig (he didn't), it would be nice if the central dynamic of this contest were about, say, the record and temperament of each candidate. Is that asking too much?
To that end, let's go back to Palin's acceptance speech in St. Paul.