Political Capital with John Harwood

In Political Speak, Everything Old Is "New" Again

John McCain

It's funny the way politicians in different circumstances and different parties try to surf the same waves.

I saw John McCain speak in Baton Rouge last night. He made an argument about government reform that mirrored the successful campaign themes of Louisiana's new governor Bobby Jindal.

Earlier, I interviewed Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and her Republican challenger, state treasurer John Kennedy. She argues, like Hillary Clinton, that she has the experience to deliver tangible results that her state needs more than ever in the wake of Katrina.

He argues, like Barack Obama, that experience in the Washington system is the problem and incumbents need to be thrown out. But he also echoed John McCain in tying the faults of the system to pork barrel spending -- a dig at Landrieu's service on the Appropriations Committee.

When politicians talk about their new ideas, just remember: few of their ideas, and of their campaign lines, are truly new. Mostly they are recycled.

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