Dan Balz comes through:

But what's also clear is that McCain's tactics are over the line, with no restraint in sight ... I was in contact over the past 24 hours with another veteran of recent Republican presidential campaigns and asked, on a not-for-attribution basis, whether he believed McCain's campaign is taking a big risk with its negative turn. "Yes," this strategist replied. "Big mistake. If this stuff mattered, then why didn't they raise it five months ago? Sad."

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