"A year ago this summer, the McCain campaign was a bankrupt political joke; the political class only mentioned it to speculate when it would be mercifully euthanized.
What followed was one of the most improbable comebacks of American political history. The electoral stars aligned into a powerful, unpredicted syzygy: The surge in Iraq worked, the immigration issue faded, the conservative movement did not coalesce around a single opponent. McCain won by shedding his early, bloated campaign structure and emphasizing his own large personality.
The style and approach of general election campaigns are often conditioned by the method of victory in the primaries. The Obama team ends the season like a battle-worn Army division -- organized, relentless and skilled at fundraising, registering voters and getting them to the polls. Members of the McCain team feel more like survivors of a near-death experience -- convinced that the virtues of their candidate and the blessings of the political gods matter more than the money, phone banks and door-knocking of traditional politics."