Score this week for John McCain, writes Mark Halperin in Time. "McCain's week wasn't particularly good, but Obama's was dreadful by comparison." Here’s how it adds up:
- Image: McCain’s goal is to make Obama look “like an ordinary politician.” Barack helped with one of his “most off-message weeks,” says Halperin, citing campaign finance, NAFTA, and a flap over head scarves. Advantage: McCain.
- Iraq: The war has always been Obama's ace in the hole, but “favorable reporting” on surge success from major papers “may neutralize the issue.” Advantage: McCain.
- Energy, environment: McCain may look like a flip-flopper and Bush sympathizer on offshore drilling, but Obama “risks appearing insensitive to his proposals’ potential economic costs.” Tie.
- Resources: Obama’s public finance opt-out will make him the richest general election candidate ever. Advantage: Obama.