Josh Marshall is understandably annoyed at today's Times story on how the coincidence of Obama's vacation and the Georgian crisis allowed McCain to seize the spotlight this week and show off his foreign policy "credentials." It's annoying because it's largely about stagecraft and doesn't get at who would make a better president. However I do think the piece captures what you might call the aesthetic of the campaign this past week. Liberal blog criticism aside, McCain has had a prominent and strong presence in the news while Obama has been fairly invisible. Makes me think back to Bill Clinton's warning that "strong and wrong" will win every time. Obama deserved a vacation but the timing--I assume his team figured the Olympics would drown out any other story--turned out to be a little unfortunate.

The effect may be limited, though, as the conventions will reboot the campaign anyway...

--Michael Crowley