As the premature judgments on the 2008 presidential race pile up, the media and some pundits need to take a deep breath. Cable TV especially needs to cool down.
Counting Sen. John McCain out of the race this early is absurd. When some rush out with a "this just in" poll showing him trailing Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson, who isn't officially in the mix yet, they are wrong.
Yes, the senator from Arizona is in trouble. He has money problems, he is cutting staff, and he looks old on some TV segments. And his biggest problem could be his intense support for the unpopular war in Iraq.
However, every campaign has its ups and downs. Candidates in both parties will have to endure them. Indeed, McCain has hit a real rough patch as the man considered the one to beat.
This extended season does offer him time to recover. While many of us doubt a reversal of the upsetting news from the war, what if there is a marked change? McCain will talk like a prophet.
McCain is a fighter. More than five years in a North Vietnam prison proves that trait. He will go down fighting.
On this subject, what is the breathless talk about with Fred Thompson other than that he is a new face and a movie actor? This hardly makes him another Ronald Reagan.
Name one landmark piece of legislation Thompson is known for as a senator from Tennessee. I can't.
As for McCain, he needs to recover some of that same independent streak he showed in the 2000 campaign. Separating himself from President Bush on issues other than the war might help, too.
I hold no brief for McCain one way or the other. But this early dismissal of him carries problems for those in the media who are talking that way.
McCain needs to be worried. But wait until the press zeroes in on Thompson's record and past. He is untested and largely unknown.