A Gallup poll suggested that Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama got a bounce from his trip to Europe and the Middle East. His lead over Republican rival John McCain increased: 49 percent to McCain's 40 percent. (MarketWatch's Election Blog) But another Gallup poll showed Obama ahead by merely three percentage points, with McCain slightly up among likely voters. (Los Angeles Times' Top of the Ticket blog)
What the commentators said
Poor John McCain, said Clive Crook in TheAtlantic.com. He has just had the worst week of his presidential campaign. Instead of lying low while Obama had his “European moment,” McCain drew attention to himself in a series of “dreary and sparsely attended small-town" events. “In this election, the image war is turning into a rout.”
McCain is “running a flawed campaign in a big Democratic year,” said Robert Novak in the Chicago Sun-Times, but that doesn’t mean the White House is out of reach. If Obama can’t get his poll numbers above 50 percent after his “massively publicized” foreign trip, it's clear that voters are still reluctant “to accept a young, inexperienced African American as their president.”
But even that advantage is no sure thing for McCain, said Irwin M. Stelzer in The Daily Standard. He had ridiculed Obama’s demand for a timetable for leaving Iraq, and for direct talks with Iran—and while Obama was abroad President Bush warmed to both ideas. That "pulled the rug out from under McCain's most important edge"—the belief that he would make a fine commander-in-chief.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- 13 vegetarian dishes for Thanksgiving
Subscribe to the Week