Earlier this week the US President admitted that, while he was aware of the problems ordinary Americans faced when it came to paying the bills, there was “no magic wand” he could wave to bring down energy costs.

It might be true but it doesn’t exactly inspire the voters.

And it certainly didn’t impress Countdown‘s Keith Olbermann, who directed yet another spray at the President, ripping apart Bush’s speech on the economy, and, according to The Huffington Post, “fact-checking each claim and dismantling Bush’s case point-by-point.” (watch here.)

So how will Republican Presidential nominee John McCain brush off the fallout from Bush’s radioactive recession?

The Dems’ God Gap: This is a week when the Illinois senator probably wishes that he could say, “I’m from the stubbornly secular wing of the Democratic Party.” Back in the days when religion in presidential politics was mostly limited to greeting Billy Graham when he arrived for an Oval Office photo op, White House candidates did not have to worry about off-the-reservation reverends. But that was before the 2008 Democrats called out the image engineers to bridge the God Gap. In Obama and Hillary Clinton, the Democrats boast the most overtly religious cross-on-their-sleeve presidential candidates since Jimmy Carter prayed alone. — Salon

Will Bush’s crumbling economy damage McCain?: Rising anxiety over the economy, especially soaring gasoline and food prices, is forcing politicians from Capitol Hill to the White House to the campaign trail to scramble for a response. President Bush on Tuesday sought to assure Americans that he was aware of the problems they faced in paying bills but said there was “no magic wand” he could wave to bring down energy costs. Congressional Democrats and Republicans rushed to draft new energy proposals — and dust off old ones — in order to shield themselves from blame for high gas prices, while plotting strategy for what will be months of positioning on the issue. The ideas being offered — including Bush’s renewed call for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and Democrats’ demands for investigations of the oil industry and a windfall profits tax — have been debated for years. Even if approved, they would provide little immediate relief. — LA Times

The trouble with spiritual mentors: I can well understand why Obama has not disowned the man who helped bring him to Christ. God knows I have had some spiritual mentors whose views I cannot accept in their entirety or some allies in the struggle for gay equality who are not my ideological confreres in many other ways. I have been in a movement where many others – most others – hold views very alien to my own. Obama is a decent human being, and cutting off someone who has nurtured and sustained his faith and been a father figure to him is not in his character. If I believed for one second that Obama shared any of this bile, I couldn’t begin to support him. But Wright’s cooptation of Obama for his own agenda – his assertion that Obama’s distancing from him is insincere – requires, in fact demands a response from Obama. Obama needs not just to distance himself from Wright’s views; he needs to disown him at this point. — Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish

And what about McCain’s crumbling finances?: “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” John McCain famously said in December. The senator’s lack of focus doesn’t seem to be limited to macroeconomics; it also extends to his personal finances. It’s fair to say that the Republican nominee has as little hands-on experience with household finance as anyone ever elected president. McCain’s financial inexperience may explain why his attempts to discuss economics—such as his rapid flip-flop on the need for bailing out homeowners, his pandering suggestion to suspend the gasoline tax, or his happy talk on balancing the budget—sound so tin-eared. — Slate

What changed Obama’s mind?: So why did this particular performance by Wright finally create the need for Obama to speak up more forcefully? That answer is simple: falling poll numbers in Indiana, North Carolina and nationally, and to that, we can safely conclude, Barack Obama takes great offense. — RealClearPolitics