Newsweek has a terrific (and refreshingly short) piece on John McCain’s “meltdown“. It raises the obligatory comparison to John Kerry’s early woes and subsequent surge to the nomination. The difference, of course, is that Kerry’s problems early on were personality (too aloof), nationality (too French), and the rock star competition (Howard Dean). McCain’s issues are all about — well, the issues. Democrats didn’t have core ideological differences with Kerry. McCain? Last time we checked he’s got a couple. Voters can forgive bad strategy, staff blunders, and even candidate gaffes. But they aren’t so quick to forgive when a candidate gives the finger to the base on a central issue. (Immigration, anyone?)