The Dems are hurting because they picked another in-authentic candidate. That is right - if I had to pick one thing that doomed Al Bore, John Kerry and now Barack Obama, it is they each lacked authenticity. They were still evolving and changing even in middle age and even worse they did it during their presidential campaigns.
The American people prefer authenticity. Like they liked Elvis who never hid the fact he liked peanut butter and banana sandwiches (disgusting IMO). George Bush likes baseball and running, McCain likes hiking, Palin runs and hunts. They are regular people and don't have to check with Naomi Wolf (taste and culture maven to the Manhattan elites) to pick their campaign wardrobe or to say what they do for fun
That is the problem for Dems - they are too serious and they are inartfully authentic.