John McCain and his Straight Talk Express seem to have a relatively smooth road to the Republican nomination — even if the Express itself could use a Pimp My Ride-style makeover, as a sprawling New Yorker profile of the candidate points out. But who, exactly, is it behind the wheel? The New York Times has a massive investigative feature today, but all it really tells us is that McCain seems to prefer blondes (as does New York this week). The chattering class is split; those on the left would like to strip McCain of his “maverick” image, while those on the right seem to be preparing themselves to hold their nose and vote for him. More interesting is Nicholas Kristof’s contention that McCain is too honest to be an effective political panderer, and EJ Dionne’s argument that McCain is wrong to think terrorism is the biggest issue facing the US. Of course, you could always try watching McCain on TV and forming your own opinion.