Mona Charen

4) The price of gasoline rose to $4 per gallon, handing the Republican candidate a huge domestic issue with which to pummel his opponent. Voters have witnessed the Democrats refusing to permit votes on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and on the outer continental shelf. "I'm trying to save the planet," Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained. They have noticed the Democrats endorsing wind, solar, alternative, geothermal and every other castle in the air that comes along. But vast majorities of Americans want to do everything possible to find new energy, very much including more domestic drilling for oil and gas, as well as building new nuclear power stations. The Democrats favor only the expensive and speculative cures. Advantage McCain.

5) Vladimir Putin delivered a timely reminder that the world is not Scarsdale. With Russian tanks rolling across international borders and an embattled, democratically elected president of a tiny country pleading for support from the West, Barack Obama looked and sounded tinny and inexperienced. McCain's no-nonsense determination made a nice contrast.

6) The American press's infatuation with Obama has begun to backfire. Forty-eight percent of the public said in a recent poll that they are "hearing too much" about the Democratic nominee and are tiring of it.

7) The economy refuses to dive into a real recession.

8) The long, long slog of the presidential campaign is paying dividends to McCain as people begin to wake from Obamamania and ask "Just what has this young man done to qualify him for the highest office?"

Luck and fortune are clearly on McCain's side. But they are nothing if not fickle. By all the usual political calculations, this should be a Democratic year. It will require the continuing favor of the Fates to keep it from being so.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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