Broder repeated the word (which could serve as McCain's first name by now) in his hopeful lead sentence.
"Is John McCain, the maverick flyboy of the Republican Party, becoming the candidate of the Republican establishment?
"Mr. McCain, who has delighted in sticking his thumb in the eye of mainstream Republicans throughout his political career, is now accumulating a base of support among party regulars who see him as the strongest general election candidate in the remaining Republican field.
"The latest evidence came Saturday night with the endorsement of Florida's popular Republican governor, Charlie Crist, which surprised even Mr. McCain. That state holds primary elections on Tuesday."
"But the apparent coalescing of much of the Republican establishment around Mr. McCain carries drawbacks as well. Many in the right wing of the party consider him an apostate and a certain loser in a general election.
Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio commentator, has warned that if Mr. McCain wins the nomination, 'it's going to destroy the Republican Party' because conservatives will desert in droves. Many object to his moderate views on immigration. Pro-business conservatives have attacked his positions on the environment, pointing to legislation Mr. McCain has co-sponsored to address climate change. Conservatives have also attacked his high-profile criticism of Republicans in Congress over pork barrel spending and of President Bush on the early conduct of the Iraq war."
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online wondered if the Times has met a conservative actually against McCain because of his criticism of pork.
"Is that the conservative complaint about McCain - or even a conservative complaint against McCain? It certainly is not mine....Just another instance of the Times not getting a clear line to that exotic Planet Conservative?"