Democratic jitters as Obama heads for Hawaii
"Will he ...Screw Up Again ?"
With polls showing him neck-and-neck with John McCain at a stage at which many Democrats expected he would be in the clear lead, they worry about the kind of stray image that helped to defeat John Kerry in 2004.
In a piece of footage endlessly recycled to mock his supposed elitism and even foreignness, Mr Kerry was caught on camera windsurfing off Massachusetts.
Since Mr Obama is taking his holiday at a private beach house in Hawaii, surrounded by the secret service, campaign officials worry less about his exposure to the paparazzi. Besides, they say, most Americans will be tuned into the Olympics.
Few people are more likely to need a holiday than Barack Obama. Yet as he heads off on Friday for his first week-long break since he launched his presidential bid 19 months ago, Mr Obama is dogged by rising angst about his campaign’s direction. Although he has run what is widely acclaimed to be one of the most impressive campaigns in years, Democrats live in fear of Mr Obama falling prey to the kinds of accident that derailed predecessors in earlier cycles.