Will Democrats finally see Barack Obama for what he is — a crypto-McCainiac? The AP and other news outlets jumped all over a statement made by Obama yesterday that gave John McCain some credit for being an improvement over the Bush administration, which puts a stake through the heart of the DNC’s “McSame” campaign. Will Hillary Clinton take advantage of this opening?

Democrat Barack Obama, who often argues that John McCain is the same as President Bush, said Sunday that the Republican presidential candidate would be an improvement over Bush’s eight-year reign.

“You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain. And all three of us would be better than George Bush,” Obama said.

“But what you have to ask yourself is, who has the chance to actually, really change things in a fundamental way?” Obama asked as he wrapped up a town-hall style event at Reading High School in central Pennsylvania.

That’s a good question. Which candidate has the better chance to make fundamental changes? Would it be the candidate who has authored many pieces of legislation with the other party on high-profile issues, sometimes in opposition to his own party? Or would it be the one with only three years’ experience in the same body, no track record of taking on his own party, and who has already started hedging his political capital with his allies?

Oh, let’s not always see the same hands.

AP’s unbylined analyst sees this as an “opening for Clinton”, but that seems absurd. Hillary drew reams of criticism when she highlighted McCain’s “lifetime of experience” along with hers, and noted that Obama only “gave a speech once”. Yesterday she had the nerve to say, “We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain,” which is baldly hypocritical after her own flirtation with McCain when she wanted to be seen as the reasonable candidate best positioned to oppose McCain in the general election.

Meanwhile, Democrats must wonder why their candidates seem so fickle about McCain. First he’s the Second Coming of George Bush, then he’s a great guy who’s better than the other Democrat. McSame, McNotSame. The only real constant is the flow of effluvium and spin coming from the Democrats, while McCain just remains himself and focuses on the issues.