US voters keen to know how McCain plans to change political work ethics in Washington

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New York, Sept.5 : Republican presidential nominee John McCain's clarion call for "Change, Change, Change" during his acceptance speech in St. Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday is all very well, but according to a New York Times editorial, he will have to tell the discerning American voter what he plans to actually do to get the corridors of power in Washington working again.

The paper says that the G.O.P message that: "Washington is not working" has a ring of truth to it, and adds that the city's politics is in desperate need of renewal and reform, but "the problem is that American voters have yet to hear from John McCain or his warm-up acts, any serious ideas on what, exactly, is wrong with Washington, apart from the fact that a Democrat might win the White House".

The difficulty for the Republican ticket in talking about change and reform and acting like insurgents, the editorial says, is that they have been running Washington - the White House and Congress - for most of the last eight years.

It further says that McCain cannot escape the burdensome shadow of President Bush because his policies offer no real change.

On the all-important issue of the economy, it says McCain has no prescription for ending the mortgage-driven crisis or for fixing the huge fiscal problems that Bush has bequeathed the nation.

"He wants to make even deeper cuts in corporate taxes, eliminate the alternative minimum income tax and make permanent the Bush tax cuts that vastly favor the wealthy and that he once correctly opposed. His only idea for balancing the budget seems to be controlling earmarks, which Republicans now denounce with the sort of single-minded fervor they used to reserve for Democratic-appointed judges," the editorial says.

McCain has also not explained how he plans to rein in out-of-control financial firms and he is yet to explain to voters how he intends to go on paying for the war in Iraq - and also fix a dangerously stretched and overburdened military.

It says McCain talks about energy independence, but his primary solution is not a solution: drilling and more drilling.

An explanation has to also be given on how he plans to salvage the war in Afghanistan, the real front line in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

"When the president of the United States is from your own party, to present yourself as a change agent is not the easiest thing to pull off," the New York Times quoted Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist, as saying.

Republicans say McCain has few choices.

As Sarah Taylor, former White House Political Director, says: "Every candidate, regardless of whether they're an incumbent or a challenger, has a fundamental mission -- how to set themselves up as the change agent."

According to the editorial, McCain might be better positioned to pull off the change argument than any other Republican, given his reputation for independent politics and periodic scraps with Bush.

The bottom line is that the voters have 60 days to decide whom they want next in the White House.

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