Sullivan Hammers Krauthammer
I had this argument, even at the time, with people who were nominally paying attention to events, both political and financial, but who weren't obsesssing as much on the polls as I was. I remember when Obama was down to 220+ electoral votes on fivethirtyeight.com, the panic I felt, the relief I felt when his numbers began to go up before the Lehman Bros. collapse. Those who weren't obsessing didn't get this. They attributed Obama's surge to the economic collapse when it began before — around the time the shine began to wear off of Gov. Palin.
Lord knows Lehman didn't help McCain, but then McCain didn't help himself, either. Despite Krauthammer, an argument can be made that with a better VP choice, with better debate performances, and with a steady campaign that seemed to anticipate events rather than reacting wildly to them, McCain, at the least, would've had a better shot. But to pull that off (particularly the “anticipating events” part), both he and Steve Schmidt would have had to be completely different people.