Robert Draper at The New York Times brings us the first of many McCain campaign post-mortems.
He ends up blaming McCain’s failure on his campaign’s constantly-shifting narrative: McCain was defined and re-defined so often that voters never really got a sense of who he was (besides a politician constantly changing his story, depending on the polls).
On the other hand, you had Obama displaying a steadiness and consistency that a lot of people see as a guarantee of a steady, consistent Presidency. It’s funny that the basic outlines of this race are very close to 2004–you have the steady leader versus the impulsive politician, except this time the Democrat is the former and the Republican is the latter.
Anyway, read Draper’s piece; it’s worth it just to get the view from inside the McCain campaign.