It's even failed on its own terms--i.e., as a way to make McCain look engaged on the financial crisis.

Check out this eye-opening Gallup poll, via Mark Blumenthal: Obama's approval/disapproval split on the crisis is 46-43. And McCain's? 37-53.

And in case you were wondering who had the upper hand on the Hill, the same numbers for "the Democratic leaders in Congress" are 39-50. For the congressional GOP: 31-58.

Having said that, Obama supporters shouldn't get cocky over these findings. Gallup reports that, strictly among independents, "Obama and McCain receive nearly identical ratings ... for their handling of the Wall Street crisis, and they're not positive."

--Noam Scheiber