During the primaries, I thought Obama was running a disciplined operation, keeping all the normal campaign in-fighting under wraps. But a problem develops when a campaign gets too insular, they start doing stupid things because there is no one in-house to say "Gee, if we say that, we are going to look stupid/silly/out of touch/wrong or whatever."
In going after the McCain cross in the dirt story, that is exactly what is happening in the Obama campaign. No wonder McCain has caught up (not that McCain is absolved from his dumb moves).
The other thing is that talking about the "cross in the dirt" story, Obama keeps coming back to the McCain Vietnam experience. Whatever beef I have with McCain politically, I can never and will never question the man's courage, sacrifice and devotion to the men he was imprisoned with. Such situations are beyond normal human understanding and beyond the understanding of even the most imaginative and empathic among us. By focusing on it, Obama puts McCain's devotion to country into the spotlight. Obama has nothing to match McCain on for that aspect, so why allow McCain to benefit from Obama putting a spotlight on McCain's Vietnam experiences?