Salena Zito

The electorate is begging for a new style and a new face for the Republican Party, which is why the near-entry of former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee has picked up so much energy.

Thompson’s appeal is driven not so much by what he will do and who he is, but by what he won’t do and what he is not. It doesn't hurt that Thompson is a card-carrying conservative whose blunt style and dynamic personality just may be the right gravitas to soothe wounded conservatives.

The biggest area where McCain has strategically mishandled his political objectives is in relation to the war in Iraq. His problem is crystal clear: Voters are no longer buying what George W. Bush and John McCain are selling; simply put, they don't want to be fooled again.

So when McCain looks in the mirror, whose reflection does he see?

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.