The Democrats' early advantage leaves John McCain precisely where he wants to be -- flying below the radar, garnering the warm feelings that will assuredly accrue to a man who has served his country for decades and now faces an uphill battle. McCain is eminently human, a quality that both anointed demigod Obama and ice queen Clinton lack. His age may actually help him here -- if the American public gets the feeling that McCain is defending himself from the bullying tactics of a younger frontrunner, it may rally around him.
In 2008, leading the charge has largely resembled leading Pickett's charge -- the first in the footrace is the first to fall. The underdog has the sympathy. The underdog can avoid the glaring, weakness-exposing political spotlight. Advantage: McCain.