Senator Inappropriate

McCain's already bad week ends on a low note Sunday.

Published July 28, 2008 1:22PM (EDT)

It was clear by Sunday that the Barack Obama's foreign trip changed the nature of the campaign. For one thing, it has clearly affirmed the notion that this is Obama's campaign to lose, and that John McCain will continue to be (perhaps prefers to be?) in a reactive posture -- basing his campaign on counterbalancing and critiquing Obama's proactive campaign.

For the most part, all of this bodes well for Obama. He looked better on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday than McCain did with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week." And McCain's new ad deriding Obama has been widely panned. Over at Time's Swampland blog, Joe Klein writes:

"This is the sort of thing you put on the air when:

"1. You're desperate.

"2. Your Middle East policy has been superseded by events and abandoned by your allies.

"3. You apparently have nothing substantive to say about America's future role in the region and the world."

Elsewhere on the Sunday talking heads circuit, former McCain bosom buddy Chuck Hagel, who traveled with Obama, when asked by Bob Schieffer on CBS's "Face the Nation" if he thought the ad was appropriate, said, flatly, "I do not think it was appropriate." Ouch.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.