John McCain's campaign team is outmatched, outspent, and dysfunctional, said William Kristol in The New York Times. Now that he appears headed for defeat, his best hope is to “junk the whole thing and start over.” He should stop his backfiring attacks, pull his ads, and reinvent himself and running mate Sarah Palin as media-accessible “happy warriors.”
It's “tempting to imagine” what would have happened if McCain had taken the high road, said Fred Hiatt in The Washington Post, instead of tapping a “partisan attack dog” like Palin and casting Barack Obama as “dangerous, dishonest, and un-American.” Maybe he'd still be losing, but at least he'd be happier and truer to himself.
McCain deserves credit for “detouring off the low road” late last week, said USA Today in an editorial. He corrected some angry supporters who badmouthed Obama, although they may have needed talking down “because they have watched too many McCain ads.”
McCain isn't a lost cause, said Walter Shapiro in Salon. The maverick can try shaking things up with another dice roll, the way he did by picking Palin and "melodramatically" suspending his campaign over the financial crisis. A risky gambit like pledging to serve just one term or publicly repudiating the George W. Bush presidency might be his only hope.