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McCain Better Suited To Deal With Economy?

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

It's still early. That's what some folks must be saying around Barack Obama's campaign headquarters today.

A brand new Reuters-Zogby poll shows John McCain has jumped out to a five point lead. Five points up for McCain from seven points down in about a month is a pretty big turn around.

In that month John McCain has referred to his opponent in mostly condescending terms. Condescension as a tactic can be tricky business but, McCain has been a virtuoso of subtext.

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In demeanor and word, McCain has been playing the hardened grown up, dismissive of his younger rival. And during these troubled times, it seems America is looking for someone who can ably take the helm.

This new poll shows Americans by a margin of 49-to-40 percent think McCain would do a better job with the economy. That's right, the guy who just a few months ago confessed he didn't know much about it, is now perceived as better able to manage it.

American unease about the future may be McCain's biggest ally.

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