Some of Sen. John McCain's fellow Republicans may have grimaced a bit at part of his speech as he accepted the party's nomination for president earlier this month. McCain wasn't exactly easy on either the GOP or Democrats.
"We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us," McCain said of office holders of both parties.
A glaring shortcoming of President Bush's administration has been federal spending. With very rare exceptions, Bush has not vetoed bills providing lavish outlays of taxpayers' cash - or, more realistically, new federal debt.
When Bush took office, the federal debt stood at about $5.7 trillion. As McCain was making his speech, it had topped $9.6 trillion. It is going up as a percentage of the nation's gross domestic product, too.
McCain has a reputation as a fiscal conservative in many ways. And, though he shared the blame for government spending once earlier this year, it is clear that of the two candidates, only he provides any real chance of reining government in.
Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama already has proposed hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending - and hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes.
While Bush seemed reluctant to take his veto pen out of the Oval Office desk, there is no reason to believe that McCain would hesitate in reining Congress in on runaway spending.
Clearly, then, McCain is the nation's only hope for restraint. He's right: In terms of government spending, change is vital.