Is John McCain a maverick?

John McCain is quoted in a new Newsweek piece claiming that he "never considered myself a maverick."

Many of the GOP's most faithful, the kind who vote in primaries despite 115-degree heat, tired long ago of McCain the Maverick, the man who had crossed the aisle to work with Democrats on issues like immigration reform, global warming, and restricting campaign contributions. "Maverick" is a mantle McCain no longer claims; in fact, he now denies he ever was one. "I never considered myself a maverick," he told me. "I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities." Yet here was Palin, urging her fans four times in 15 minutes to send McCain the Maverick back to Washington. [Emphasis added]

As Political Wire notes, McCain didn't always distance himself from that label. A flashback to 2008, via the NYT:

And for those who’ve been asking in the last few weeks what has happened to the “maverick,” now that his campaign keeps him away from free-wheeling talks with reporters every day, the campaign has decided to revive the label, calling him the “original maverick”. [Emphasis added]

Cross-posted from the Blog Briefing Room

Updated at 3:07 p.m.