Joe Klein evaluates the McCain campaign thus far:
McCain gives you something to admire and loathe almost every day. He did some terrific things this week on his anti-poverty tour: He gave a lovely tribute to Congressman John Lewis in Selma, he called out Bush's Hurricane Katrina non-performance in New Orleans. (Of course, he also voted against the Katrina relief funds.) The very fact that a Republican would take such a tour is significant--but his willingness to go into the muck on Hamas and Obama's "friendship"--or whatever it is--with the American terrorist Bill Ayers is gutter crap.
So the jury's still out on what kind of campaign McCain runs. I hope my colleagues in the press will call him out everytime he succumbs to sludge tendencies. I certainly plan to do that.
The smears by association do work, however, which is how you prevent someone with popular policies and a brilliant speaking style from becoming president:
Four in 10 registered voters (41 percent) say they have a less favorable opinion of Obama based on his association with his former pastor, Rev. Wright, whose racially and politically inflammatory sermons have been circulated on the Internet and covered in the media. A similar number (42 percent) say they will not vote for Obama because of comments he made about "bitter" small-town residents clinging to guns and religion.
My biggest disappointment with McCain, so far, has been the moronic gas tax holiday and his support for a massive new increase in the debt in order to suck up to Larry Kudlow's crew. Sigh.