But here's the problem for them... when there is a crisis the people except the partisanship to stop. They expect their leaders to work together. The Republican attacks on Obama highlight the inability of the modern Republican party to do that and that's why these attacks aren't working.
In retrospect, McCain should have treated Obama with a surplus of respect with a healthy dose of "you silly naive kids these days... get off my lawn" sort of attitude. Challenge Obama's policies, not his character. It's the same mistake they made with Bill Clinton. No matter what his policies were he was a likable guy. You cannot win by trying to change the rules of a popularity contest. If your opponent is more likable, more popular, you have to accept it and embrace it. Gosh Obama is such a nice likable guy... maybe in 20 years he'd make a good President. That's the only strategy that could have saved McCain's campaign but it's just too late for it now.