The worst thing the McCain campaign could have done was to alienate the media the way it has. Many major newspapers are coming out with articles - not editorials or opinion pieces - that in tone if not actually in substance favor Barack Obama.
Today's LA Times has an article on McCain's day-to-day campaign manager, Steve Schmidt. The article starts out spreading doubts about the stability of the campaign and Schmidt's efforts:
"In the wild ride that is the McCain presidential campaign, Steve Schmidt has been at the wheel, steering -- some say careering -- from Paris Hilton to Sarah Palin, from abrupt "suspension" to abrupt restart."
The LA Times has ANOTHER article - love the subtlety of this title - called "Mishaps Mark John McCain's Career as a Naval Aviator "- though the subtitle is not so subtle: "Three crashes early in his career led Navy officials to question or fault his judgment." The timing on this is impeccable, they have been SO PATIENT to sit on this as long as possible. Maybe next week would have been better, though.
Of course, on Saturday the NY Times ran the article examining Obama's ties with Weather Underground domestic-terrorist-turned-college professor William Ayers. This was a great pre-emptive strike to head off coming McCain campaign character assassination attacks. Unfortunately, the Times over-credited Sarah Palin with an ability to read. She got the headline in big print ok ("Obama and ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths" )but missed the conclusion of the article:
"Little Influence Seen: Mr. Obama’s friends said that history was utterly irrelevant to judging the candidate, because Mr. Ayers was never a significant influence on him. Even some conservatives who know Mr. Obama said that if he was drawn to Ayers-style radicalism, he hid it well."
But the Washington Post has the REAL ZINGER: "The Separate Peace of John and Carol." This story is a powerful indictment of John McCain for abandoning his faithful wife for his mistress. The facts are incontrovertible: McCain's marriage license to Cindy is dated four weeks BEFORE his marriage to Carol was dissolved.
In the article, Carol McCain is quoted as saying about their divorce: "I attribute it more to John turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again than I do to anything else." How does McCain's conservative, Republican base rationalize this one?