This election cycle we’ve been subjected to nothing but a litany about “change” from Barack Obama. The question is what kind of change will Barack Obama subject us to? What is his version of change?

Then there is John McCain’s kind of change. He told reporters, “…”The message is change. It’s real change. I think it’s clear I have a record of working across the aisle. Senator Obama does not. I think it’s my record of reform and efforts to change the way we do business in Washington. He has the most liberal voting record of any senator in the U.S. Senate.”…?

The next question, how does a man the Democrats are portraying as a Washington Insider (he was elected to the House in 1982 and Senate in 1986) use the change – word and get away with it?

The answer is in John McCain’s background. He has prided himself on being something of an outsider. By now most people know he is known as a maverick. A maverick is a person of independent thought or action, a non-conformist. It’s also a stray, unbranded animal, usually a horse. Thanks to the magic of television and the movies, Maverick is also Wild West gambler. There may be a better term to describe John McCain, but I’m not quite sure what it would be. His enemies on the far right have almost turned the word into some form of profanity, spitting it at the television camera in order to brand him as someone who refuses to conform. Now though, that single word – maverick – can become synonymous with John McCain’s vision of change, a philosophy he has been practicing since he arrived in Washington nearly a quarter of a century ago.

In an election year where we are told the word Republican has become almost as nasty as the worst profanity, John McCain is the perfect Republican candidate. Ever the maverick, he knows how to work with the Democrats. The best example of this is one of his closest colleagues in the Senate is Joe Lieberman. A true westerner, he has embraced certain a certain environmental platform that makes the most conservative of voters cringe. Mentored by the late Morris Udall, a staunch environmentalist, McCain looks at environmental issues a bit differently from your average conservative. He is against drilling for oil in the pristine Alaskan wilderness. He things the idea of mining or drilling in the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s natural treasures, is deplorable. He is willing to admit something is going on with climate change and wants reasonable studies on the subject.

He has bucked the system on immigration, bringing down upon his head the vitriolic wrath of the cons. By doing so, John McCain proved he was more in tune with Mr/Ms Average American who want secure borders but also a humane way of treating decent people who are here illegally.

An independent thinker, he had the courage to break with President Bush on Iraq and became such a ‘pest’ the President was forced to adopt the McCain Solution. And – it is working. He is a staunch advocate for our military, something his opponent is not. He is a patriot who knows the score, has been there and done that.

One of Mitt Romney’s former aids, Kevin Madden, made the comment, “”There is a canyon between Barack Obama’s rhetoric of change and what he’s ever achieved, whereas John McCain can point to a long record of accomplishment and having led the charge of reform-minded change….?

In a year where Republicans are expected to be lower than dirt, John McCain may just pull off the impossible, but then he’s done so already. A little less than a year ago he was declared politically dead, his campaign in ruins. Phoenix is more than a city in Arizona and a cute little can-do rover on Mars. Perhaps instead of calling John McCain a ‘maverick’ he should be called a phoenix, a glorious creature rising from the ashes of defeat.