"Meanwhile, McCain had to wrestle with two GOP figures who seemed to be political leg-irons President Bush and Palin." says the AP story on exit polls at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081105/ap_on_el_pr/exit_poll
A more apt metaphor is to see John McCain at Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.
First, McCain's an old Navy guy, so Mariner seems apt. Second, he carried the Bush record around like an albatross that he couldn't get rid of. This is somewhat ironic, since McCain certainly wasn't one of Bush's biggest fans, but still deserved given McCain's overall support of Bush over the last 8 years.
"Alone, Alone, all all Alone,
Alone on a wide, wide sea,
And never a poll took pity
On my campaign agony."