His support is cratering from economic woes below and embarrassment above - and the strain seems to be taking a toll on his health. If the elections next year result in a defeat for the worst Islamists, the chance of finding a way to reach past the leadership's most theocratic elements toward a game-changing appeal to the Iranian people is real. Only if we have a president Obama, of course. McCain couldn't exploit this kind of nuance if he even wanted to.

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