John McCain is in a trap. His past is what makes him so attractive to people like me. But an ad campaign that's about the past is a very serious problem, especially with an aged candidate. He's running on Vietnam, and although it pains people of my generation to admit it, Vietnam might as well be the Spanish-American War for a lot of voters.
I'm reading blogs and comments suggesting that Obama can't win against McCain. Folks, after being shit-hammered for two weeks, Obama is within the margin of error in head-to-heads against McCain.
The GOP will use the Reverend Wright to hammer Obama. Obama will use Bush to hammer McCain. Reverend Wright means nothing to the vast majority of Americans. He's just the excuse Republicans who were never going to vote for Obama use to explain voting against him after a brief and insincere flirtation. But Bush is very real. And that picture of McCain embracing Bush will be seen again and again.
Either things are improving in Iraq, in which case McCain's signature issue is in the national rearview mirror. Or it's getting worse, in which case McCain will be hit for his continuing support of the war. In either case, this is looking like another Stupid Economy election year. And McCain has nothing on the economy.
Obama's been roughed up. But I still think he'll beat McCain.
Watch that ad. It'll make you admire McCain. For what he's done. For who he's been. It'd be a great ad, if we were electing the president of 20 years ago.