"John McCain is not a maverick."That may sound like a straight-forward statement, but it actually works against the speaker, because it gets them saying the words "John McCain" and "maverick" in the same sentence. If you're on message, you say, "John McCain represents the status quo." That gets the words "John McCain" and "status quo" in the same sentence. See? Here's a business example:
Q: "Is your company poorly managed?"Here's a link for Obama fans only: a post with 10 Tips for Obama to win the PR battle
Bad Answer: "Our company is not poorly managed."
Good Answer: "Our company is considered one of the best-managed companies in our field."
Note to McCain supporters: send me links to pro-McCain PR items and I'll link to them too, as long as they're not partisan rants.