This should be the best of times for John McCain. After all, the presumptive Republican nominee has pretty much gotten a free ride from the news media while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have duked it out, but the septuagenarian's campaign is sprouting problems like zits on the face of a 15-year-old.
* His biggest liability is Mister Twenty-Seven Percent, yet George Bush keeps stepping on his lines.
* His best chance against Obama is to sell himself as a straight-talking maverick, but the record shows that he has been anything but.
* The organization of his campaign has been so slipshod that he is bleeding top advisors because of their embarrassingly unsavory past and present associations.
* He has big money problems, as in not having nearly enough himself and his wife's "f*ck you" refusal to release her financial records.
* His recent flip-flop on troop withdrawals from Iraq shows how vulnerable he is on this increasingly unpopular war.
* He keeps undermining himself because of his inability or unwillingness to master the finer points of policy, including the economy and foreign affairs.
* He is being pressured to enlist in the right-wing's sputtering culture war, including blasting the California same-sex marriage decision, and risks further alienating the GOP's lunatic fringe if he does not.
* He could be seriously hurt by an increasingly likely third-party presidential bid.
* He has no coattails, meaning that the many vulnerable Republicans up for re-election are more or less on their own. Then again, that might not be a bad thing considering how problematic this candidacy is.