It is amazing how quickly elections can turn, which is why next week, we could easily be talking about John McCain making yet another Lazarus-like return to the top.

Just a month ago, the McCain campaign was basking the glory of a rousing, bring-the-party-together Convention that featured the coronation the pixie-like heiress to the Reagan legacy with frameless glasses, a winning smile, and a wink with every ‘gosh shucks’ line she lobbed to conservatives like a big, fat casaba melon. Their ticket had the lead in the national polls for virtually the first time, and an energized GOP base for a *John McCain* ticket. Never thought you’d hear that one, now did you?

Queue Lehman Brothers, and the now infamous “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” line, and you have an instant recipe on how to piss away a lead in a Presidential election. I know a few of you opined when I wrote about the “fundamentals” line stating that he was right. That we had growth last quarter, and that at 6.1%, we are at the textbook definition of a ‘healthy’ unemployment rate. Whoop-tee-doo. Tell that to the 150,000 plus people who lost jobs last month, and they’ll tell you how ‘healthy’ it is for them.

Still more people praised the bold and assertive leadership that McCain showed by the circus act suspension of his campaign, the desperate attempt at having a debate postponed, and the inept arrival in D.C. to rally the party he is the standard bearer for to successfully torpedo the first version of the bailout plan.

He kept his trophy-VP under wraps after two rough performances in interviews, and she actually saved the McCain campaign from a free fall by overcoming expectations an athletic mouse could leap over.

And just in the last couple of days, after the larded-up, pork-filled version of the bail out finally passed, McCain adviser Greg Stimple offers up this gem: “”We are looking forward to turning a page on this financial crisis.”

This comes yesterday, as the Dow was down 800 points, but managed to rally and “only” losing less than 400, to drop below 10,000 for the first time in years.

These missteps have created, as David showed yesterday, a huge electoral college lead for Barack Obama. Even has the McCain campaign tries to “turn the page” on the most critical issue of this campaign right now, more hits are coming.

“The Economist” magazine published an article last week, revealing polling data from economists on the McCain and Obama economic policies. 80% of those surveyed said that Obama has a better grasp on economic issues, which includes 71% of independent economists. Obama even beat McCain among economists identifying themselves as Republicans, by a 46% to 23% margin.

The truth of the matter is, while McCain may or may not believe that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, it is becoming obvious that the fundamentals of his campaign are not. Over the weekend, trophy-VP Palin was let loose on the stage with enough mud to build a small Pueblo city. Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright are a couple of names that I’m sure Palin will be using quite a bit over the next four weeks. The funny part of the McCain campaign using Wright to besmirch Obama, is the fact that he railed against such use when the North Carolina GOP used Wright in an anti-Obama ad in April.

McCain’s quote on the matter?

“I’m making it very clear, as I have a couple of times in the past, that there’s no place for that kind of campaigning, and the American people don’t want it.”

Right you are Senator McCain!

That is, unless of course your down six-to-eight points in the national polls, down nearly 200 in the electoral college and your Achilles heel issue just happens to be at its most critical point in decades.

I fully expect more of the “shotgun” approach to running a campaign from McCain over the next few weeks, throwing as much crap against the wall and seeing what can stick to Obama.

Whether it works or not remains to be seen.