This week in the US Presidential Campaign
Console yourselves with the tales of John McCain's worst week ever. Having goaded Obama into making a global tour in the hopes of his "foreign policy inexperience" leading to a major gaffe, it turns out that everybody in the world loves Obama. Especially the Iraqi prime minister, who endorsed Obama's plans to withdraw from Iraq. And you know who really loves Obama? The disproportionately black US military, that's who. Especially when he tries out their basketball court and sinks a 3-pointer on the first try. Talk about unnecessarily good.
McCain, meanwhile, stayed at home and did all the foreign-policy flubbing instead. He referred to Russia's relationship with Czechoslovakia, a country that ceased to exist back in 1992, a mistake he's been making since the 2000 campaign. He also referred to the Iraq/Pakistan border. It may be that he's being incredibly clever here, and he was subtly referring to Iran, which is what actually lies between Iraq and Pakistan, but it's a lot more likely that he's just old.
The icing on McCain's week was probably his plan to upstage Obama's speech in Berlin by having a press conference about opening up offshore oil drilling in the US with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, on an oil rig near New Orleans. McCain claims offshore drilling will have an immediate impact on gas prices (even though the experts say the impact will not be felt until 2030 and will be "insignificant") and also that it is "safe enough these days". However, the campaign cancelled the conference, blaming it on nearby Hurricane Dolly -- but the more likely reason is that an oil tanker has collided with a barge, causing a massive oil spill just outside New Orleans.
This election is beginning to look like a walkover.