The Republican line of yesterday seems to be have been that Senator Obama "hangs around with terrorists." That piece of nonsense is for surrogates and the pathetic Palin to mouth. From the candidate himself, the line was slightly more subtle.
I think we have a case here of trying to lead low-information voters from their slightly confused and curious response to the novel Democratic candidate right on over to their distrust of a foreign-sounding, perhaps alien, indubitably BLACK, candidate.
From my experience canvassing for Obama ten days ago, this may work with some. The feeling among those few voters who were still just tuning in was that Obama is too unknown. Those who said this weren't necessarily expressing racism -- they really just didn't know what to make a candidate who wasn't an old white guy who'd been in the news for years. Maybe some of that was a cover for racism, but some was just astonishment at novelty.
I imagine the McCain sleaze attacks go over quite well in focus groups with this dwindling group. He is supplying an ugly content to an unformed feeling.
On the other hand, there are not nearly so many undecided potential voters as there were ten days ago, so there are less for McCain to influence.
Onward to the next debate...