Dear John McCain,

We get it. You’re a maverick. But it's beginning to feel like product placement gone bad: “John McCain! He’s the maverick! You know what mavericks go great with? Presidencies! So put this maverick down for your president today!”

It’s cool if you want people to think you’re the lone ranger. But was it necessary to have Sarah Palin refer to you as a maverick six times in her vice-presidential debate?

Even Biden used the word eight times last night in a beautifully-rehearsed soundbite about how you're not a maverick. Obama’s new ad mentions “maverick” five times and even runs the word across the screen. Obama’s campaign people seemed to have missed the part in advertising class where you’re supposed to avoid mentioning your opponents’ key word and phrases. Sure, they slipped in a handy little ‘not’ before every mention of “maverick”, but it still comes across as if they view the word as enough of a threat to address it.

What is a maverick, exactly? According to Merriam-Webster, the word originated from Samuel Maverick, a pioneer who refused to brand his calves. The word is defined as “unbranded range animal” or “an individual who does not go along with a group or a party.” Granted, you have done some unbranded calf things in your past, such as being one of the few Republican senators to vote for Democratic campaign finance reform legislation in 1993.

But, seriously, your whole maverick thing was so last century. Your voting records are almost always Republican, you supported the surge, and you picked a right-wing conservative for your VP. Oh, wait, she’s a maverick too. Because being a pro-life moose-shooting hockey mom with great shoes is completely against everything the Republican party stands for.

The whole maverick thing started off with the media. If they want to call you a maverick, let them. But, for sanity’s sake, could you cut down the Mavericks Per Minute?

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