A Narrative Problem: The Many Faces Of McCain

Journalist Robert Draper examines the connection between a presidential candidate's narrative and his ability to win voters' confidence in his recent New York Times Magazine article, "The Making (and Remaking) of McCain."

Draper says that one of the reasons the McCain campaign may be faltering is its shifting focus: "In constantly alternating among story lines in order to respond to changing events and to gain traction with voters, the 'true character' of a once-crisply-defined political figure has become increasingly murky," writes Draper.

McCain's campaign has alternately highlighted its candidate's experiences as a prisoner of war, his capacity as a deal maker and his identity as a "maverick."

Draper contrasts these shifts to the steady narrative of McCain's opponent Barack Obama, whose campaign has been focused on change. "That, in any event," writes Draper, "is [Obama's] story, and he has stuck to it."

Draper is a correspondent for GQ and the author of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush.

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