McCain's '08 Campaign is Broke and a Total Joke

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

What did we learn about John McCain's presidential campaign this week? Well, he's just about out of money. And his national campaign staff is just about gone. As is his Iowa campaign staff. More top aides are on their way out, and one of his top backers in Florida was arrested this week, charged with offering to perform oral sex for $20 on an undercover male police officer.

It's so bad that Jay Leno joked during his monologue this week, "John Edwards is on the campaign trail. He's now doing something called his 'Poverty Tour', where he's visiting people who have no money and no hope. His first stop today: John McCain's headquarters." (thanks to reader J.B. for the tip)

Given all of this, it's only natural that the lead item on ABC News' politics page right now leads with this headline: "Is McCain the Next Comeback Kid?"

The next what? Comeback? What comeback? The guy's campaign is in shambles, there's little hope for recovery, and ABC News is already suggesting that McCain might be the "Next Comeback Kid"?

Naturally, I clicked on the link to see what, exactly, was the basis for this bizarre idea. Here's what I found:
On the day that the original "Comeback Kid" makes his first campaign trip to New Hampshire on behalf of his wife, McCain is vying for his own comeback -- but this is a much different campaign than we've seen from him. ABC's John Berman reports that McCain flew commercial last night to New Hampshire and stayed at a Courtyard Marriott....
Per excerpts released by his campaign, McCain plans to get tough with the Iraqi government with a 1 pm ET speech in Concord: "The Iraqi government can function; the question is whether it will. If there is to be hope of a sustainable end to the violence that so plagues that country, Iraqi political leaders must seize this opportunity. It will not come around again."
In other words, McCain is giving a speech in New Hampshire about the war that will say what he's been saying. For that, ABC News' lead item suggests McCain might be ready for a "comeback."

I've seen candidates get media adulation, but this is embarrassing.

On a slightly more reasonable note, the Huffington Post's Tom Edsall suggests there is one option for McCain if he really wants to turn things around.

According to private conversations with political operatives from both parties, John McCain has no choice but to adopt a high risk strategy to revive his presidential bid, a double Hail Mary: Throw one stink bomb at the White House and another at Republican National Committee headquarters.
There is no guarantee the strategy would work - in fact the odds are long against it.
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