In an election cycle dominated by economic distress, John McCain could do without stories like this one. Put it with his silly gas tax harrumph and it couldn't be more off-message. His campaign does seem pretty ramshackle from this distance right now. Maybe it's the only way he knows. And maybe it will take a total polling collapse to get him into the scrappy underdog free-wheeler mode which is the only way he knows how to campaign successfully.

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