I’d be more depressed about that state of media coverage if I thought John McCain had much of a chance to win the presidency. And, I’ll admit, the media coverage does concern me. Its substanceless focus on race, gender, and beer vs. arugula is about the only thing that gives McCain a prayer of a chance. Still, John McCain is not the same candidate he was eight years ago. He doesn’t have the energy he used to have. He can’t fire people up the way he did in all those town hall meeting in New Hampshire in 2000. And his party isn’t the same party. McCain is selling the same dogfood that has the president trapped in the high-twenties in the polls. There’s no way McCain can win this thing unless one of two things happens. If the Democrats remain deeply divided, or if the media succeeds in making the election all about personality and race, then McCain can compete. In the battlefield of ideas, or even the battlefield of political talent, McCain is hopelessly outmatched.

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