A Can't Win Election

Dick Morris nicely sums up the McCain/Obama race like this:

A candidate who cannot get elected is being nominated by a party that cannot be defeated, while a candidate who is eminently electable is running as the nominee of a party doomed to defeat.

It's as simple as that, which is why this race is so confusing. Barack is entirely unelectable, as is the generic republican nominee. This takes the lesser of two evils into complicated territory. Morris says McCain can still win despite the awful hand he's been dealt:
...a tanking economy, an unpopular war, a Republican incumbent whose approval ratings are at their all-time low and a gloomy national mood, with 82 percent of Americans saying in a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week that the country is on the wrong track. Political scientists add all that up and predict that the Democrats are destined to win the White House.
The key for McCain, according to Dick, is to keep to the center because the GOP base doesn't need to be coaxed to vote for him thanks to Pastor Wright.
The growing fear of Obama, who remains something of an unknown, will drag every last white Republican male off the golf course to vote for McCain, and he will need no further laying-on of hands from either evangelical Christians or fiscal conservatives.
McCain needs to play to his maverick image and attack things like corporate greed, congressional earmarks and the poison of Hollywood, and he must nullify Barack on Iraq by revealing Barack's big lie (my words) on removing troops on a 16 month timetable:

The solution is to draw Obama out -- to ask the untested senator what he would do if al-Qaeda in Iraq took over the country . . . or if Iran did . . . or if the Iraqis who backed the U.S. mission were being slaughtered by the thousands . . . or if Islamist terrorists seized control of the country's oil wealth.

Obama, not wanting to appear weak, would no doubt rise to the bait and agree that he might need to send troops back in under certain conditions. He would assure us that sufficient forces would be available at nearby bases to get the job done. To avoid coming across as indecisive and timid, he would put on a sufficiently hawkish face to reassure the voters. And in doing so, he would blur the war issue vis-a-vis McCain.
By following the Morris template, Dick says a McCain win can be achieved:
The American public will not ultimately doubt Obama's patriotism; that is a bridge too far. But we will come to think less of his credibility and strength as he fumbles his way through awkward denials. Obama's ex-pastor may have faded in the primary fight with Clinton, but Wright will loom larger in the general election. McCain is in an excellent position to exploit the openings that Obama will offer -- if, and only if, he moves to the center.