Sarah’s accusation of Obama’s association with a terrorist, as an isolated campaign point, will surely hurt more than help. The advice coming from the WEEKLY STANDARD and elsehwere that the campaign can be turned around simply by going negative on Obama the man is ridiculous. The comparison between this election and 1976 is pretty weak: Obama is far superior to Carter, and Ford was a fairly trusted and respected incumbent. McCain’s ghost of chance would come from showing that he understands the real cause of the financial crisis in fairly partisan Republican way (which means implicating the Democrats), taking on Biden’s lies on judicial activism (while showing that Obama is far to the left even of Biden on abortion etc.), defending in detail his quite defensible health-care reform as real and desirable change, getting real tough and specific on the real differences between the two parties on energy policy (which means embracing the Palin let’s do everything policy), trumpeting the dangers of a very liberal united government (taking people’s eyes away from Obama’s baloney platform and toward what a very liberal Democratic Congress would actually do and roll back), and driving a wedge between Obama’s and Biden’s record on war, foreign policy etc., showing, from the record, that Obama is actually pretty much of a McGovernite, and generally attack politically correct boboism on the level of "cultural" and educational policy. Right now what people really think is McCain doesn’t have a clue and Obama does, and going after Obama’s character isn’t the ticket at this point. None of this plays to McCain’s strengths, but it’s still all about ways he would be a better president than Barack, despite Obama’s obious intelligence and, so far, tactical and strategic superiority as a compaigner.