07/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

John McCain, The Jan Brady of Presidential Politics

John McCain and Barack Obama

Sometimes with all the attention paid to Barack Obama, the Clintons and soaring gas prices I forget that John McCain is running. Seriously. He's become the Jan Brady (Obama! Obama! Obama!) of presidential candidates. Or worse, the Judy Winslow. Some days he barely puts a dent in the news cycle, and Tuesday, when he finally gets a storyline all to himself it's about how sucky his campaign is going for a guy who had a four-month head start.

From Politico:

"Here is where the problem is: We had a nomination gap between when McCain was nominated and the Democratic race completed," a swing state Republican Party chairman said. "I think [campaign manager] Rick Davis and his team did not have an understanding of how the grass-roots, organizational part of the party works. They did not use what the [Republican National Committee] had done, or how groups like the [National Rifle Association] could have helped the McCain campaign locally.

"They are just now opening up campaign operations in most states. The RNC was ready to go in most states in March," the state chairman continued, listing off grievances ranging from the campaign's "dictating" the members of various RNC committees to the state party's having been "threatened" that, though McCain "couldn't afford not to play in our state," the campaign would not "recommend us for resources" if the state party did not abide by its requests.

This should shock no one, but Obama isn't running against McCain, but "The Machine" -- re: the entire Republican Industrial Misinformation Complex. The bulk of attacks levied at Obama are either from party operatives, cable news talking heads, political hacks, Shush Hannitibaugh or cyber slanderers. All McCain is supposed to do is not pull a Bob Dole by taking a header off a stage.

The good news for McCain is while he can't manage to keep a coherent message, hasn't defined his opponent and generally looks like he's fumbling in the dark for a pair of reading glasses, he is only two-to-five points behind Obama in Gallup's in daily tracking polls. This despite having his left rear blinker flashing on the Straight Talk Express for the last six months.

As countless party operatives scream, "Turn! Turn already! Oh my God. Why is he going 30 miles per hour on the highway?"

There's still a good chance his campaign could self-destruct all on its own (Bush, McCain sex tape?), but it's a little unsettling that a candidate this inconsistent in the most hostile environment towards Republicans since Watergate is so close to a candidate who is smarter, faster, more agile, hipper, better looking, more talented, verbally gifted, younger than him, plus a sophisticated, tech savvy campaign behind him and more than $200 million in the bank.

Yet his lead has fluctuated by only two-to-five points on the Gallup daily tracking poll.

Sometimes this race makes me think of that scenario where if Jesus came back looking like Richard Roundtree and offered the people of this country salvation, they would just pick hell.

You'll go see Will Smith in Hancock on the Fourth, America, but you can't decide between Team Fixodent-and-Forget-It and Team Obama? Sad, America. Very sad. Maybe Barack should start having Will Smith at all his events with 16 flags around him instead of the usual 8-to-10. Or Vice President Will Smith. How does that one sound? He saved us from aliens on three different occasions, America! Can you get more patriotic than a Michael Bay production and the ability to pull $65 million or more an opening weekend? I dare you not to love that winning ticket.

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