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John McCain as seer -- he predicts the trajectory of the '08 race

June 28, 2008 |  2:08 am

The national polls taking the temperature of the presidential race will ebb and flow (much as they have during the last week). The two candidates will be on their game and off. Attention will be lavished on Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and the other states deemed critical to the contest's outcome.

It all matters for naught. John McCain peered down the road Friday while speaking to reporters, including The Times' Bob Drogin, at an auto plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and laid out the following scenario:

"I’m the underdog in this race. ... I’m behind. I’ve got to catch up and get ahead. And I expect to do that about 48 hours before the general election."

That view is totally in character for McCain. As The Ticket noted earlier this week, the former fighter pilot "is right where he wants to be, behind his opponent. You can't shoot someone down from in front."

Indeed, McCain's embrace of the underdog role was the topic of one of the video chats that Matt Welch, author of "McCain: Myth of a Maverick," recently had with The Ticket's Andrew Malcolm (see below).

-- Don Frederick

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