Consider how bad John McCain's last week was. On Sunday, Colin Powell (despite my opinion of him, probably the most widely respected Republican since Eisenhower) endorsed Barack Obama. By Wednesday, McCain had locked down his own important endorsement -- Al Qaeda. And on Friday, the Pittsburgh PD announced they would be filing charges against a McCain volunteer who fabricated a story about being attacked by a black male black Obama black volunteer blackity black black.
By Saturday, CNN and other outlets were running stories about the growing divide between McCain and Palin on the campaign, calling Palin a "diva" who wouldn't take direction.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that any one of these stories would have chewed up a week's worth of news cycles only 8 years ago, maybe even 4. And John McCain was hit by all of them in one week.
I can't make popcorn fast enough to keep up.