What Matters: McCain Clueless On The Economy

John McCain has demonstrated that when it comes to politics and governance, he is a clone of George W. Bush. A know nothing blusterer whose political resurgence has been on the back of the Bush/Rove politics of the personal attack and the trivial ("Lipstick on a pig" anyone?). When it comes to actual policies, particularly on the economy, McCain himself has said he is is a know nothing:

Which explains why McCain said "I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession, I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong and I believe they will remain strong.”

It is now time for the Obama campaign to demonstrate the Democratic record of competence and concern regarding the economy. Yes, it is time to roll out the Big Dog. On the campaign trail. With Obama. Now. Right now. Politics matters. Governance matters. Democrats can govern. Democrats can help the American People through these economic woes. Bush-McCain Republicans clearly can not. Now is the time to talk about that.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< McCain: "Along The Lines President Bush Proposed" | The Game Changer: The Economy >
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    Time to draw contrast now more than ever (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:34:39 AM EST
    This is a failure of the conservative economic view. Your last full paragraph is spot on.

    McCain TODAY: Economy still strong (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:02:26 AM EST
    You can see a clip here of McCain announcing this morning that the fundamentals of our economy are still strong.


    McCain advisor Donald Luskin agrees in yesterday's WaPo that Phil Gramm is right to say that we are merely in a "mental recession." (He does admit that "maybe" Gramm went too far in referring to America as a "nation of whiners.") He calls Barack Obama "patient zero" in spreading the irresponsible myth that the economy sucks.



    4th icon from the left (none / 0) (#165)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:29:20 AM EST
    Just past the B, I and U

    above the box to post your comment.

    Highlight the word you want to link to- say TPM

    Or WaPo

    Press the 4th icon. Paste your URL there and click Ok.

    Thanks for the links.


    Luskin must be really mad at the WSJ (none / 0) (#168)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:33:28 AM EST
    and all the other financial press that has screaming doomsday headlines above the fold about how dire all of this news today is.

    Whiners!  So what if Lehman, Merrill and AIG are collapsing all in one weekend?  Who cares if the entire banking system collapses tomorrow?  The fundamentals are strong if you've got three hundred thousand dollar outfits to wear and seven houses. /snark


    I am a macroeconomist (none / 0) (#183)
    by Prof G on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:01:17 PM EST
    and I do not disagree with McCain's statement that the "fundamentals are strong".  Here are some tips for assessing the so-called fundamentals:  (1) Watch productivity (GDP per worker).  As I tell my students, this is the most basic fundamental of  all.  Productivity growth has continued to be good.  (2) Watch interest rates.  This is the key variable for assessing financial market disturbances like the Lehman failure.  The people running the Fed right now are very smart and proactive, and they are fully capable of containing the damage.  If interest rates remain reasonable, then they have accomplished their mission.  Furthermore, the commercial banks continue to be strong, and this strength can be leveraged to prop up weaker parts of the system.

    Bottom line - McCain's statement is not unreasonable or out of touch.


    Also remember (none / 0) (#186)
    by vicndabx on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:13:51 PM EST
    remove any extra http:/ at the beginning of the info in the text box, i.e. there should only be one http:/ displayed before you click OK

    Bang it Home (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by NYShooter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:37:41 AM EST
    The Republicans can't fix the Economy

    They're the ones who Broke It

    The Democrats Have the Plan

    Ready to Go On DAY 1 !

    Lets hear the (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:06:21 AM EST
    plan.  Although you mean goal.  A plan is what it takes to meet the goal.

    Bill Clinton has said many times (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:13:50 AM EST
    "People would rather have strong and wrong" than uncertain and right.

    Strong and wrong is what McCain is projecting. Obama needs to be strong -- whether he's got a specific plan doesn't matter so much now.  He's got to promise, like FDR and Kennedy, to "get this country moving again."

    Besides which, at this point any plan formulated two weeks ago is probably out of date. He needs to project that he is a take-charge guy who will do whatever is necessary.


    Clinton gets it exactly right too (4.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:18:41 AM EST
    and he can project strong and right like a rock.  We need some strong and right on the left RIGHT NOW!

    Correct. (none / 0) (#163)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:23:30 AM EST
    No more waffling and professor like talk.

    You expect a leopard (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by oldpro on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:39:17 AM EST
    to change his spots?

    If he could, he wouldn't need Bill Clinton to tell America WORM.

    Gawd, this is depressing.


    It's beyond (2.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:52:39 PM EST
    depressing. Obama's campaign is committing political suicide and taking the party down with him.

    Its a slogan (none / 0) (#116)
    by NYShooter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:27:45 AM EST
    People vote on emotion



    AND..... (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by NYShooter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:39:26 AM EST
    There is no one.....NO ONE

    Who can do it better than Bill

    He should borrow his wife's line (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by cannondaddy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:43:57 AM EST
    "Asking the Republicans to clean up the mess they made is like asking the iceberg to save the Titanic."

    Good One (none / 0) (#117)
    by NYShooter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:28:11 AM EST
    Right on Schedule (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:41:02 AM EST

    Sep 15, 7:26 AM (ET)
    CHICAGO (AP) - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said Monday the upheaval on Wall Street was "the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression" and blamed it on policies that he said Republican rival John McCain supports.
    "This country can't afford another four years of this failed philosophy," Obama said after the shock-wave announcements that financial giant Lehman Brothers was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy while titan Merrill Lynch was being bought by Bank of America for about $50 billion.

    "The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren't minding the store," Obama said in a statement. "Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression."
    "I certainly don't fault Sen. McCain for these problems," Obama said, "but I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to."

    Again (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:46:59 AM EST
    where's the pivot to what he's going to do to solve the problem? What is he proposing to do? What's he done in the Senate that he can use to promote the solution?

    The Democratic brand (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:48:10 AM EST
    is what he needs to rely on now.

    Certainly. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:50:17 AM EST
    But he needs to talk about why democrats are better instead of simply talking about how republicans are wrong.

    Yes,yes, yes (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:46:32 AM EST
    this is where I think his advisors are serving him badly.  After the convention he needed to do a big switch:  He is the Democrat not the Republican.  But the post partisan blather gets in the way.  

    I'm a Democrat and (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Elporton on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:42:36 AM EST
    I'd like to hear from Sen. Obama just what he thinks that is.

    Obama has mastered the obvious - that (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:08:20 AM EST
    the country cannot afford to extend the policies of the Bush administration by electing John McCain, but now he needs to master the details of what he's going to do, how he proposes to do it, and what he estimates it will cost.

    These are not sound-bite issues, but if he has time to talk in paragraphs about why McCain is the wrong guy, he has time to hit on components of his economic plan.  Maybe he can't cover them all at once, but he can cover them.

    He could, for example, talk about how the health of our people affects the health of our economy, and provide specifics on how he plans to reform health care.  He needs not just to state the obvious, but to show the voters that he gets it, and that he is passionate about fixing it.

    He could talk about how the better-educated and trained we are, the better it is for the economy, and provide specifics on how he intends to improve education.  He's sending his children to a private Chicago school - imagine what sending them to the local public school could have done for that school, and imagine the message it would send about improving the quality of public education, and his confidence in his ability to make those improvements.

    We KNOW things are not good; what we don't know, and what people are not going to go to his website to read, is how he intends to improve things, how what he proposes will be better than what McCain proposes.

    He needs people in the House and the Senate, who presumably will be leading the fight to get his agenda enacted, to be out there talking up these specific policy proposals, so that people know what the stakes are, and that the Democratic Congress has his back - he needs to lead, but the team he's leading needs to be visible and vocal.  

    Enough with the obvious - it's time for specifics.  When I go to buy a car or a new refrigerator or a new HVAC system because what I have is old and broken and not getting the job done, I don't need the salesman to tell me I need a new one, or that what I have isn't working; I already know this.  What I need is for him to tell me why the particular car or refrigerator or HVAC system he's selling is the best one for me, what it's going to cost, and why it's better than what the other guys are selling.


    That last sentence (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by themomcat on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:20:19 AM EST
    was weak. Never say that you don't blame your opponent. The Republicans are responsible for this mess and should be laid squarely at their feet. McCain is the Republican nominee, McCain owns this problem.

    Absolutely (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:24:14 AM EST
    He should be tying ALL Republicans together.  It ain't just Bush and never was just Bush.

    Bill or Hillary Clinton would not have hesitated for a minute to hang this around the neck of that whole perverted party.

    And this statement: " ... but I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to."

    Should have been Republican economic ideology.

    Does Obama still think he can get Republican votes as he did in the primary?  Someone has to tell him to forget trying to avoid offending Republican voters.  Getting all Democrats and a majority of independents will win the election.

    Republicans need not apply.

    It's time to beat Republicans to a bloody pulp, what this whole campaign should have been about from the start of the primaries. Hopey, changey, bi-partisan crap is a weak reed.


    "The Republicans need to (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:16:09 AM EST
    own their failure."

    McCain is totally on board with Bushian economics. Phil Gramm, king of the corporate shill de-regulators, as well as the person who called us "a nation of whiners," is his current economic advisor and his likely Treasury Secretary.

    So McCain needs to own the failure too.


    Why add the disclaimer about not faulting... (3.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:20:13 PM EST
    McCain personally? I don't get it. Just leave it unsaid.

    Certainly (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:45:18 AM EST
    McCain is clueless on the economy but I think Obama is having a hard time selling that he's better. Mostly I think the reason is that he's a Senator. He doesn't really have anything to back up his claim that he's better. This is where a Gov. has a distinct advantage over Senators.

    Pointing out that he GOP is bad isn't really going to work unless you can start pointing out why Democrats are better. Has Obama spent too much time blaming Clinton for this to work? He's said that the nineties were bad but now is touting them. It makes people distrustful of his economic beliefs.

    "What are you going to DO?" (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by BrianJ on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:58:15 AM EST
    Until and unless Obama has a concise answer for those six words, the faltering economy will not help him.  Leaning on the Clintons will not be enough-  we know what they did under a different set of circumstances.  We need to know what you will do NOW.

    I agree. (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:04:24 AM EST
    I'm tired of hearing how circumstances are going to deliver the election for Obama. If he can't fight and sell his policies and explain them simply to the public he can't win.

    If he would quit shuffling papers and lecturing the voters it would at least be a start. The visuals from when he talks to voters aren't good.


    Bad times don't make people bitter bigots (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by esmense on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:14:33 AM EST
    more often they make them angry cynics -- anxious to throw the bums out, yet apprehensive about the ambitious bums trying to take their place.

    To win in that atmosphere you have to offer specific ideas that, rightly or wrongly, can be convincingly presented as "reform," and specific reasons for why voters can trust you. Hope is good, too, but it is just icing on the cake.

    The Democrats had the advantage this year, because they weren't the bums being blamed. But Obama blurred the "change" message by making it "post-partisan" and placing the blame on both parties. He basically said, "you can't trust THEM, but please trust ME." Ignoring both the fact that he didn't have much experience or resume to form a basis for that trust, and the reality that such a message played directly into the Republicans favorite strategy against Democrats -- attacks on the person rather than the (usually pretty popular) policies.

    In doing so he created an opportunity for McCain to tap into that anger, as Republicans have done very successfully before (in the 80s and in '94) with a "reformer" message, and by making a case for his personal trustworthiness (and difference from others in Washington) based on both his "maverick" political image and his self-sacrificing actions as a POW.

    Democrats are always trying to win, or blaming their losses on, the culture wars -- when their real problem is the, in many ways justified, widespread cynicism about politics and therefore government. Republican deft exploitation of cynicism about "Washington" and the political establishment's understanding of the economic circumstances of average Americans is the bigger problem.

    One would think this year that exploitation couldn't work -- but with the right candidate on their side, and the wrong message on ours, it now looks like it just might.


    It's like in his (none / 0) (#129)
    by fercryingoutloud on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:44:34 AM EST
    convention speech. He gave a list of every progressive thing a person could ever want, even added things in the speech that he had never mentioned before. But all he said on how he would accomplish all those impossible things is that 'I have a plan'. What plan? Care to explain?

    Other than tax cuts for the middle class, which won't pay for his programs, and tax increases on the rich, which won't pay for the programs either, he has no plan. Or I guess you could say like McCain he is clueless. Sure people can throw around a few 'billions of dollars' invested statements but voters know that is just talk.

    As for him having to bring The Big Dog on stage with him to sell Obama's expertise on the economy - that is just laughable. If Obama can't sell what he has to sell by himself he is dead in the water. Bill holding Obama's hand on stage could hurt him more than help him.


    With all the static (none / 0) (#95)
    by pragmatik on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:02:00 AM EST
    from negative campaigning and Sarah Palin idolization, it's hard to hear Obama's message of what he's "going to do".  You actually have to research his proposed changes and compare and contrast them with McCain's. The media isn't going to give us sound bites every day explaining either candidate's plans for their administrations.  It's up to us to take the time to learn the issues and determine who's the guy who's going to help us the most.  

    Why aren't we asking what John McCain will do?  The Republican economic policies have not worked.   What are McCain's specifics?  The simple truth is that something different has to be done. Maybe people don't know Obama all that well, but we know that he respects what Clinton did for our economy, is seeking his counseland does not agree with Bush's policies.  We may know McCain better, but what we know isn't that comforting.  He and his party scoff at most of Clinton's accomplishments and take credit for the others.  What is John McCain going to do differently, when he's aligned himself with Bush policies?  

    The debates should help us to determine who is the best representation of change.  It's just important that people realize no matter who is elected healthcare, economic and foriegn policy all have to change.  We truly can't afford another minute of the policies which have put this country in such crisis.


    You (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:05:07 AM EST
    can't depend on the voters to research his policy positions. He is going to have to sell them. He's not using his paid media time effectively.

    How does one use media time effectively? (none / 0) (#167)
    by pragmatik on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:33:18 AM EST
    People don't have the attentions span to sit through informative commercials and/or CNN stories on the candidates and their issues -- particularly if they are affiliated with a party for no other reason than they don't want to pay more taxes.  There is no incentive for people to learn what both sides are offering; too many people have given up on voting for what's best for them and have instead just decided to vote with their "party" because the issues haven't trickled down to them yet.  People don't understand that when your neighbor's house goes into foreclosure it lowers the value of your home.  People don't understand that healthcare premiums, copays and "reasonable charges" covered go up because uninsured people still need to get healthcare and the costs they incur get passed along to everyone.  People don't understand that maintaining tax cuts for the executive officer in the company they work for is not going to benefit the workers at that company.  They respond to fear. They respond to outragious accusations and distortions. They respond to what little information they actually pick up on commercial breaks or from the Daily Show or from Bill O'Reilly. They don't want to watch a 60 second spot from Obama saying that he supports SCHIP and John McCain does not.  You'd need another 60 seconds to tell the viewer what SCHIP is.  

    What this campaign needs are grass roots volunteers who can do their homework and present the facts as unbiasedly as possible.  Those of us blogging about what's wrong with the campaign should log out of the computer and go knock on some doors.  When John McCain says he wants to do a town hall meeting a week he's not totally wrong.  Talking to people face to face and asking them why they support one candidate or another and offering them information can at least encourage them to think.  

    Media time only works with people like us who are interested in more than sound bites.  For us to only be talking to other people who have access to, and desire for, information about the issues is not helpful.  This is just a place for our vanity to be displayed.  If a change is to be made it's going to take more than Monday morning quarterbacking the campaigns.  It's going to take good old fashioned talking to people, seeking them out and providing real world examples and stories.  One person can make a difference.  But this is not the venue for that kind of change and neither are campaign commercials.


    he can (none / 0) (#170)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:37:52 AM EST
    do bullet points on his proposals. His ad campaign has been pathetic. He has failed to use it to get out any message other than Bush=McCain.

    A lot of Obama's problems are cultural and can't be changed. However, there are things that he can do.


    However (none / 0) (#177)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:56:17 AM EST
    I do agree with some of the things that you are saying. Having campaign volunteers and workers that are trained. I had the Obama campaign contact me and the worker/volunteer couldn't tell me where Obama stood on issues. He referred me to his website.

    There's a lot of disorganization (none / 0) (#199)
    by pragmatik on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 02:43:58 PM EST
    in the volunteer offices.  There are so many people who are volunteering to help out and only so many campaign workers familiar with the issues to go around.  The office where I volunteer is crazy.  They take warm bodies and try to put them to work making calls and canvassing with little training.  That's why they need people who know the issues to volunteer.  Or people who may not be up to speed but can make the commitment to read at least one of the candidates plans so that they can talk informatively.  It's so critical, as I found this weekend.  

    I met a blithely underinformed man who told me that he was undecided but leaning toward McCain.  The reason he gave me was that McCain had really shaken things up by nominating Sarah Palin and he liked that.  He couldn't provide me a single issue that he and McCain shared.  That's just one guy not ashamed to tell me that his criteria for choosing the president of our country was who picked the more interesting (at least to this guy) VP as a running mate.  

    People who aren't connected to the economic issues we're experiencing, who don't have any friends or family in the service, who think they're healthcare coverage is just fine even though they have to pay $500 out of pocket before they get any benefit, are the ones that need to be touched somehow by this campaign.  A commercial won't cut it.

    I'd rather have an Obama volunteer send you to a web site than to have them misrepresent issue positions.


    If obama is waiting for people to figure out (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:22:05 AM EST
    where he stands on issues without laying it out to them, he is going to have a long wait.  He has to reach out to the people and give them the answers.  Most of you know that, yet you continue to coddle him and not make him do the work and now you want Bill to make everything better...if that is the case, then Bill should be running for president, not obama.

    First off, he has to be the first face (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:54:12 AM EST
    up and on the news when a crisis hits.  Then he needs to tell everyone he is going to end the crisis.  I think he lost pts in the polls today already.

    I think you are right....you can only jaw so (2.00 / 1) (#201)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 03:47:39 PM EST
    much before people expect to see some sort of plan or see you walk the walk....this should have been done long ago...

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:23:35 AM EST
    you say "but we know that he respects what Clinton did for our economy, " This is a newly formed message from the Obama campaign. Quite different than what he was selling during the primaries. If people were to actually do all the research you want them to do, don't you think they will come across this "change of opinion" fom Obama and beging to question what he really thinks?

    I don't (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:48:54 AM EST
    think McCain can turn it into his advantage but can Obama? That's the question. He's rerunning Kerry's campaign of 2004. You can always "hope" that it will work this time.

    Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by pluege on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:59:48 AM EST
    I don't think McCain can turn it into his advantage

    just listen. the republican harpies and their corporate media GOP propaganda goons will be shrieking about the dem led Congress not doing anything about the economy any second now.


    And they'll be correct, so Obama (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:08:21 AM EST
    just has to outline the economic plan that he will submit to Congress on Day One.

    And then he just has to say it only will work if we elect not only him but also a Democratic Congress.  And then the Dem candidates talk up the plan and promise to vote it through on Day One, too.

    That's how it was done before.  So let's see if they can do it now -- and do it fast -- with the polls showing a decline in his coattails, too.


    the danger of course (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by ccpup on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:19:31 AM EST
    is that it may not be too difficult to paint the Democratic lead Congress as a Do Nothing Congress -- with their approval ratings below Bush and Pelosi's approval rating languishing at a staggering 9% -- with the Mavericks John McCain and Sarah Palin (their collective history of going against corruption in their Party already part of their branding) the only two people running who can shake them up and get them back to work!

    With Obama still mealy-mouthing his way around the issues and repeatedly reminding us of the problems without offering any solutions and Biden having served longer than McCain in the Senate and in the back-pocket of the Credit Card companies and with the Bankruptcy Bill around his neck, it won't be too difficult of a pivot for a talented campaign (like McCain-Palin) to jujitsu this back onto the Democrats and, by association, Obama-Biden.

    Getting out ahead of this in a strong fashion could help stave off the inevitable, but I don't see Obama doing that yet.


    Blaming Congress (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by frankly0 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:03:44 AM EST
    and "Washington" is clearly the way the McCain campaign is pushing this. It's going to be a pretty effective move, I think -- one with sufficient plausibility that they should mostly get away with it.

    No politician has ever lost a vote blaming Congress for something bad.

    While Obama will have a good argument himself, blaming Republican economic policies, I think in the minds of most voters in the middle it's going to come out as a draw -- just a confusing and mostly incomprehensible "he said, she said".


    And that is so ironic that McCain... (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by alexei on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:34:13 AM EST
    can blame Congress and Washington.  Wow, Obama opened that up with a sitting Senator running against Washington and now, the "maverick" easily took that meme.

    Unless (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:31:10 AM EST
    Obama can remind the voters that McCain has been a member of the very villian (Congress) that he's trashing now for over 20 years. If it was that terrible where has McCain been through all of it. His voting record doesn't match his mouth.

    And McCain can (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by frenly on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 01:10:13 PM EST
    bite right back that only in the last two years since the election of a "do nothing" Democratic majority has the economy gone down the tubes.  It doesn't matter if it's accurate, it just matters if it sticks.

    BTW lately it seems like Obama is the establishment candidate.  


    Kerry (none / 0) (#35)
    by jb64 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:46:39 AM EST
    ran against an incumbent in a time of war. Show me one example where an incumbent President lost a re-election during a war. It doesn't happen.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:50:07 AM EST
    The problem with this argument is that it relies on excluding LBJ through tricky wording when he quite obviously serves as a precedent.

    The conventional wisdom going into the 2004 election was that it was clearly a Democratic year.  Then Bush won and the conventional wisdom became "oh, of course you don't defeat an incumbent during wartime."  Well okay, whatever.  There are way too few data points to draw any sort of firm conclusion.


    I remember 2004 a little differently (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:01:50 AM EST
    The conventional wisdom going into the 2004 election was that it was clearly a Democratic year.
    This was not true until rather late in the game. How else could a joker like Howard Dean be the "frontrunner"?

    As the election got closer, Bush did seem weaker, but my feeling is that had there been no last minute Bin Laden tape, Kerry would be President.


    Well (none / 0) (#48)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:07:27 AM EST
    I guess it depends on when you want to take the snapshot.  My point was moreso that this business about wartime Presidents is something you only saw played up with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

    It's kind of like watching the Colts put together a miracle comeback and win in overtime and then having someone say, "Oh, of course the Colts weren't going to lose 2 games in a row," like it was predestined or something.


    LBJ (none / 0) (#41)
    by jb64 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:59:36 AM EST
    was despised by half of his own party, and all of the Republicans, conditions GWB never had to deal with. The anti-war movement in this country in 2004 was anemic at best and generally invisible.

    Shrug (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:02:58 AM EST
    Does that mean you want to modify your theory?  "A wartime President always wins reelection unless he is despised by half his own party," or something?

    The point is that what you have is a theory, supported by a tiny sampling of data points, not some ironclad Law of Politics you can present as an open-and-shut conclusion.  It obviously wasn't inevitable that Bush would win 51% of the vote in Ohio as opposed to 49%.


    We're (none / 0) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:00:38 AM EST
    still at war and McCain is the "incumbent" so according to your reasoning Obama's going to lose simply based on that fact.

    Is McCain President? (none / 0) (#50)
    by jb64 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:08:32 AM EST
    Hasn't (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:14:27 AM EST
    Obama been saying that Bush=McCain enough to promote that idea?

    Bill Clinton (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by themomcat on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:01:56 AM EST
    is probably the only person who would get the attention of the voters on this issue. It is complex and needs to be simplified and Pres. Clinton is the only person, that I know, who can do just that. People listen to him, even Republicans. If Obama doesn't turn to him for this most important issue he is squandering an opportunity.

    roll out the big dog!!! (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by sancho on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:04:55 AM EST
    While (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:06:48 AM EST
    he certainly can help, he alone can't deliver the election for Obama. Obama is going to have to convince voters that he has solutions to their problems. Whining about how bad things are (and I agree they are) while not proposing a solution isn't going to work imo.

    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by themomcat on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:15:04 AM EST
    that Pres Clinton can't deliver this election for Obama. But if Obama doesn't start listening to Pres. Clinton's advise and using his voice to help get the "It's the Economy, Stupid" message across, then Obama is not going to win this and "Hello" Pres. McCain which I find frightening.

    Hey! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by NYShooter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:10:45 AM EST
    That's what I said up above

    The lawyers have been advised...lol


    oops (none / 0) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:12:07 AM EST
    Now its down below

    One point of disagreement. (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:26:53 AM EST
    Not just Bill Clinton but Hillary Clinton as well.

    I have no doubt that (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by sas on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:06:07 AM EST
    McCain doesn't know what to do.  I also know Obama doesn't know what to do either.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:35:02 AM EST
    Obama's Milton Friedman Memorial Economics team can't offer a solution that's contrary to their religion, the worship of free, unregulated markets.

    the genius of Krugman even seems stumped (2.00 / 0) (#39)
    by pluege on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:56:17 AM EST
    but Obama needs to be saying things that at least sound calming and intelligent; Obama needs to have a plan.

    7 weeks to go (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by fercryingoutloud on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:59:36 AM EST
    Blink your eyes and it will be 6 weeks to go.

    If after all this time, 18 months of pandering with non-specifics, he has not articulated what it is he is going to do then it isn't going to happen now.

    7 weeks! So just when would he role out his plan on the economy? If he had a plan and started to formulate how he was going to present it that may take a week to 10 days to polish and ready for presentation. That would put him close to 5 weeks out from the election. Way too late.

    Obama has be MIA on the economy. It is not part of his election strategy. That's just another reason why this guy is a weak and terrible candidate and everyone who supported him will be responsible should McCain win.


    McCain doesn't have an (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Lahdee on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:23:06 AM EST
    original thought about the economy, it's all Phil Gramm. They're whiners and everything is fine for our people says Gramm and McCain believes it.

    Some say it's sound bites that sell the narrative not the policies. If we're looking for something short and sweet perhaps a pithy line about bringing home the bacon would do. Or we could just use the brand to sustain the message and leave McCain to look clueless.

    Unfortunately, I don't think Obama's. . . (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:25:09 AM EST
    there yet.

    I noticed in the quote of his comments on Letterman that he said President Clinton would be campaigning for him and that "no one is better at politics than Bill Clinton".  It seemed a pretty weak claim to the mantle of Clinton's governance.

    It's true that some of the blame for the current meltdown rests with the Democrats, including some of my otherwise very good elected officials, who bought into the business deregulation fever of the Reagan years in a wholesale fashion.

    But the country associates Clinton with good economic times and that's something that Obama is going to have to yoke himself to.  Pride be damned.

    I don't (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:12:34 AM EST
    think his "pride" situation can be changed. He hasn't been able to get it under control for months now. Maybe the current situation with him losing will change that but it seems unlikely from what I have read. He would rather lose the election.

    Larry, I just saw a poll with Obama up only 5% (none / 0) (#64)
    by Teresa on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:36:15 AM EST
    in New York. What the heck is going on? It's in the Politics section on Yahoo's front page. I'm sneaking on at work so I can't go back for the link.

    It's a Sienna poll. They also had him up (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:41:43 AM EST
    only 5 in April. They seem to jump around a fair amount, going by RCP. I wouldn't worry much. New York won't be close.

    What's going on? (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:45:40 AM EST
    A poll that doesn't pass the smell test.

    Suppose (and I would never want it to (none / 0) (#202)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 03:50:11 PM EST
    happen) that WJC took ill and couldn't stump for obama...what is his plan?  It would be on him; would he be up for the task?

    Obama DOESN'T need to get too specific (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:28:17 AM EST
    He doesn't need a 20 minute, professorial speech on exactly what he'd do.

    It is enough right now to say that THE REPUBLICAN FREE MARKET CAPITALISM model has FAILED.

    He needs to tap into the anger people feel, and empower them to exact a  measure of revenge on the party that has put us in this position.

    It is human nature to assign blame, and if he can get people to assign blame on the Republicans, the voters can have a "catharsis" by pulling the lever against McCain.

    We need someone who promises to stop (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:27:17 AM EST
    the blood loss first, followed by insuring the people they will not allow it to ever happen again, followed by making those responsible exactly that.  Democrats are complicit to start the fight about the Republicans being the ones that did this.  Dems have been running the Congress for two years and what have they done to prevent any of this?  Biden is too vulnerable on consumer/economic issues too in my opinion, he has been behind some legislation that really gave to the consumer but good.

    Seems like the "October Surprise" (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by lilburro on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:32:45 AM EST
    is going in our favor this time.  There are new economy horrors every week it seems like...I don't think lipstick and Palinpalooza are going to obscure them.

    You're right - if Obama can get together with Clinton and seem to have a team put together that can deal with this crisis, he should win.  And win big, I think.

    Here's change to change momentum (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:46:12 AM EST
    If the Democrat's don't jump on this and "own" it, they don't deserve to win. We gave up the advantage we had on energy. We can't afford to let this opportunity slip away too. Enough of the petty personal attacks. This is the only issue that matters now. (And heating bills haven't even kicked in yet).

    Note to Obama: Don't be laid back or vague (5.00 / 6) (#57)
    by esmense on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:23:40 AM EST
    Less affluent and established Americans (than you and your upscale base of support) are frightened. They want and need to see urgency, passion and specificity.

    McCain's comeback (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:50:48 AM EST
    I am going to keep saying this.... it is governments fault.  If McCain merely man's up, accepts blame for his party and brings in the Dems... I think McCain can make his own message.

    McCain... yes, the Repubs screwed up.. so did the Dems.  Clinton signed the deregulation that has gotten us where we are.  Look, does Obama not understand we are all going to have to work together to get this done?

    McCain commercial... legislation page floating across the screen.. Bill signed SB####.... another page floats across screen.. Bill signed SB###.... another page... Dems voted against cr card bill....  We have to work together to solve these problems.

    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:53:45 AM EST
    If McCain can sell the "it's the fault of big government for deregulating" argument then he probably deserves to win.

    Phil Gramm, McCain's likely (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:10:48 AM EST
    Treasury Secretary, was the main architect of the de-regulation legislation, and is a big proponent of de-regulation of financial institutions generally.

    Obama's theme should be: Both Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein have been quoted as saying "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  But that's just what McCain is proposing -- doing the very same things that caused this mess."


    Ding, ding, ding (none / 0) (#91)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:57:15 AM EST
    ding ding.....

    And if Americans buy this argument (none / 0) (#131)
    by eric on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:47:30 AM EST
    they deserve what they get.

    Was wondering when folks would remember (none / 0) (#105)
    by vicndabx on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:17:18 AM EST
    this.  IIRC, many folks thought it was a good idea that Clinton was "pro-Wall Street."  I know I did, cuz at the very least it took some of the shine off republican "tax-and-spend liberal" arguments against dems.  While I was worried that we might not necessarily be able to trust Wall Street to have the average American's best interests at heart, since the economy was doing OK, I think I was like a lot of folks - give them the benefit of the doubt since Bill signed on to the loosening of the rules.  IMO, this couldn't have come at a worse time for Dems, it makes it harder to use the Dems are better than Repubs on the economy argument.

    Easy answer (none / 0) (#108)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:21:19 AM EST
    There is no consistently right answer.  At times it is in the best interests of the economy to deregulate and at times to regulate.  Depends on infinite variables.  

    I hope argument can be made that (none / 0) (#118)
    by vicndabx on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:28:27 AM EST
    states that clearly to the average voter so they'll understand it's good to let the market be "the market," but at the same time the market can't go anywhere it wants.  Your point makes me think Obama may be able to sell it a little since he hasn't been tied too closely to Bill before this.

    But Clinton stopped the CEO's (none / 0) (#109)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:21:21 AM EST
    from taking those huge bonuses......remember?  Boy they wanted his tail for that, but instead they got Dubya and they got all the 100 million dollar bonuses they wanted then.

    No I didn't, but thanks for reminding me, (none / 0) (#114)
    by vicndabx on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:25:54 AM EST
    the pedestal upon which I have placed the Clinton years started to crack yesterday w/all this bad news coming out of Wall Street.

    He told the CEO's they would not be (none / 0) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:29:13 AM EST
    raking the fat of the taxpayer's retirement monies right off the top every year but somehow, somehow that all got lost.

    CEO pay (none / 0) (#143)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:02:57 AM EST
    Here's an interesting chart... it looks like CEO pay follows S&P rather than legislation.  The chart shows that pay increased during Clinton, it dropped with the S&P and was already on the rise before Clinton left office and before Congress would have had time to pass legislation to un-do any restrictions.... so it doesn't look like Clinton had an effect on pay.

    BTW (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by lilburro on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:00:51 AM EST
    How does a guy sit in the Senate for 20 odd years and still know jack about the economy?  How is that "experience"?

    Absolutely correct. Economy, Economy, Economy. (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by kulta on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:01:32 AM EST
    Letting John Mc Cain anywhere near "fixing the economy" is like letting the fox back in the hen house to protect the remaining chickens.  It's his advisors, particularly Phil Gramm, and his support of Bush's 8 years of disengagement that are responsible in large part.  Please tell me one reform, one piece of legislation Johnny has sponsored or passed in his 26 years in Washinngton on fixing the economy or Wall Street, or Banking (god forbid, Keating 5 syndrome).

    "The fundamentals of our economy are still strong" says John Mc Cain.  If you believe that, I've got a Bridge to Nowhere for sale.

    Fundamentals. (none / 0) (#191)
    by oldpro on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:34:39 PM EST
    Someone should ask McCain to tell us just what those fundamentals are...someone in a debate with him...

    Since McCain gets a pass... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Dadler on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:12:04 AM EST
    ...on everything, Obama will have to start with actual ideas.  And the first one has to be "you are going to get a tax cut, working families, to be financed by those overstuffed and affluent people and corporations who have been getting away without paying their fair share."  He has to do more than talk about Republicans detroying the economy because, truth is, most Americans, polls be damned, think both parties have destroyed whatever happens to be being discussed at any given time as having been destoryed.  To repeat: McCain gets a pass on everything, he is mythologized comprehensively, and is not treated like a normal politician by the press or the public.  He is treated as if he resides on Olympus for part of the year.  Wake up to this and start having ideas and plans, or Obama is dead in the water -- which he already might be when the polls are adjusted for the election fraud certain to occur in swing states and all across our messed up nation.

    ECONOMY SPEECH (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:14:12 AM EST
    We had Obama on Race and the nation watched.  It is now time for a huge speech on the Economy.  Not enough to get in a few sound bites while stumping.  The publication of those bites depends on MSM deciding what is pithy and what is memorable and the context is never given.  Hence, fraught with risk. Since Obama declined McCain's invitation for numerous town hall meetings, he is now relegated to waiting for the two formal debates and dependent upon the press for publication of little tidbits here and there.  

    Can Obama just announce he will deliver a speech on the economy.  Seems we are in economic crisis right now!  McCain could never swing this kind of thing and neither could Palin.

    That could (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:23:44 AM EST
    work if it was one with a positive note and actual propositions for what he is going to do if elected. If it's more warmed over "McCain is bad" no one is going to listen. He can't continue to preach to the choir. He would have to use that speech to expand his appeal.

    Will he let go of his poisonous pride long enough to do what is necessary to win?


    I agree whole heartedly (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:36:21 AM EST
    I meant a real substantive speech on the economy.  Not a hatchet job on McCain per se.  what I don't like is that Obama really has no stage at the moment.  He agreed to just two "debates" which may not even have the room for this kind of dialogue.

    Not so clueless this morning (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:19:37 AM EST
    He is promising to reform Wall Street and says that a McCain/Palin ticket will never allow Americans to be put at risk like this again.  He's blabbing it tough and hard on CNN.  He's still reforming Washington and let's be honest, there are Democrat fingerprints on how we got here too.  I read Obama's very wordy statement wordily attempting to to link McCain to this via the Bush administration not minding the store.  Biden is supposed to show up soon saying something yet he's Mr. credit card companies and Mr. bankruptcy reform so does he have much of a leg to stand on if he hopes to make this about McCain instead of the reforms that need to happen?  This is a crisis though.  John McCain is going to kick Barack Obama's butt on this if the Democrats don't drop all this wordiness and sighing and NO FACES ON THE TUBE EARLY THIS MORNING.  The people will respond to who promises to end this even if in the end that is not what they get.

    I thought the very same thing. (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:06:12 AM EST
    Do you know what day this is? (5.00 / 9) (#113)
    by Christy1947 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:25:22 AM EST
    Lehman Bros. has just gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning, the biggest single bankruptcy filing in history, and AIG has lost 40% of its value and may join it.  WaMu is nominated as third in line. Merrill Lynch was bought this weekend to protect it from following Lehman soon, by B of A. Citi may be next, in view of reported losses. Lehman is in the tank because the Government decided it was not going to get into the habit of underwriting  huge institutional bailouts, and the private sector flat out refused to do it. The Fed will probably reduce some interbank rates tomorrow, discussion still in progress since it may make foreign markets think the US is panicking,  but there are limits to what the Fed can do. I am watching Bloomberg now and they are discussing this as a removal of the governmental safety net, something ordinary Americans have not had reliably since Reagan.  The only question is how many other institutions will go down before election day.

    What Obama has offered is suitable regulation to slow this and make as sure as regulation can, not always a clear matter, that this can't happen again. In this case, this arose because there were unregulated sectors of the financial services economy, which were broadened in 1999 with Phil Gramm's further deregulation, trusting to the free market to regulate and heal itself. This allowed classical depository banks, who are protected by the FDIC, to go into investment banking which is protected by nothing at all, just the free market, and the losses which are killing the banks are in the unregulated sectors, with bizarrely inventive security instruments even financial types can't understand, and where even ownership of them is unclear. Well, the free market can't protect. It hasn't. It didn't.  After last night, we know that it won't, or Lehmann would not have had to file. New regulation and new risk management principles and new disclosures to the millions of investors who are now holding worthless securities  are on the way and O has come out for them before today, tg. It will be a lawyers and accountants full employment act for years here, while ultimate responsibility is assessed. But while that spins out, the financial market is in rubble.

    What McCain has offered is getting the government off the people's back. Ditto Palin. Getting the regulatory weight off the financial sector, and flexible accounting standards and rating standards which allowed this to go on so long that it was not repair but collapse which is the result. And nobody yet has even begun to look at the  effect this will  have on ordinary Americans and their pension plans and small business credit and the like. That is not a Republican policy concern and never has been. If he has made any suggestions about any of this, concerning Fannie-Freddie or Bear Sterns or the like, I have not found them. He has genuinely NO IDEA about what to do. And having Mitt probably wouldn't have helped since Bain has been announced as one of the vulture investors now, after filing, trying to buy chunks of Lehman, and his prior vulture financial history would have been into this mix. (Imagine that, a bright side to picking Palin, but look how dark the day must be to see it.)

    And his campaign's deliberate move from policies to personalities is virtually guaranteed to continue since this is the hottest possible policy issue, right in the middle of his weakest spot.

    This is not the time to speculate on Big Bill, who never faced much like this, Long Term Capital Mgt. was hugely smaller than this, or, worse, arguing one more time that O should resign the nomination in favor of Hillary, who has no background in this either. This is the time to point out that this is what the Republican economic plan produced, quite intentionally, and that in this McCain has nothing new or different to offer, and no plan of how to fix anything. O does not need to go into academic sounding specifics at this point about who did this and how they did it, because we won't know about some of the details of what is fixable and what can be fixed for awhile.

    It is genuinely deplorable to watch commenters on this site ignore what is happening outside their windows, so they can continue to nurse personal resentments.  

    This is very thoughtful and helpful (5.00 / 4) (#154)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:10:55 AM EST
    and even hopeful that the Dems do have a plan.  I will reread it and think it through some more.

    But now let's hope his speechwriters can craft it into a more succinct and persuasive message, and especially the part promoting the Dems' plan, not just the attack on the others' plans (or nonplans).

    Then the admakers and pr pros have to put it out there fast -- to the public and to the other Dems running to pound it out there together.  That could make a difference.  And that is where I have found Obama's campaign most worrisome.


    McCain economic advisor (none / 0) (#145)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:06:04 AM EST
    Phil "Nation of Whiners" Gramm was probably the biggest architect of the repeal of the Glass-Steagal act and of the general principle that financial institutions don't need no stinkin' regulation.

    He would probably be McCain's Secretary of the Treasury.


    P.S. christy1947 (none / 0) (#147)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:07:38 AM EST
    If I could rate your post a ten, I would.

    I agree. (none / 0) (#151)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:09:57 AM EST

    Agreed, agreed, agreed (none / 0) (#161)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:19:29 AM EST

    In fairness to McCain and Obama... (none / 0) (#182)
    by santarita on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:01:11 PM EST
    we are navigating in uncharted waters.  I do find it amusing that McCain is talking about reforming Wall Street.  I wonder how he does that without promoting government interference in private industry.  At this point, I am not sure that anyone has any great ideas, except maybe Warren Buffet, and as far as I know he hasn't said much.    

    It is easy to point to the legislation in the 1990's that allowed bankers to get into investment banking and activities other than traditional banking as a main culprit.  But unregulated insurance companies had been poaching in traditional banking for a long time and traditional banking was on the way out.  The Gramm-Biley-Leach Act was sold as saving traditional banking by allowing banks to get on to a more level playing field.  It also freed regulators from having to make ruling after ruling on requests from banks to allow them to do deals that were borderline.

    What is happening now is the result of a systemic failure - a failure at every level: the borrower, the originating lender-banker, secondary market, FASB, credit rating agencies, regulators and the government (Congress and the Executive).   Bush and Congress basically permitted privatization of regulatory functions.  Guess what?  It doesn't work.    

    There are some big issues that the next President will have to deal with.  One of them - what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac- really goes to the essence of Democratic social policy since the time of FDR.  How a Pres. Obama would deal with the federal ownership of those two entities will speak volumes on where his philosophy of government's role lies on the spectrum.


    The candidate (none / 0) (#196)
    by votermom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 01:09:58 PM EST
    who can get Jack Bogle to be his Wall Street adviser will get my vote. I don't care what party. Seriously.

    Biden's on (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:44:08 AM EST
    Delaware going thru same trevails, auto plants, losing jobs, 1973 UAW 10%, Repubs don't understand that.  Sad note, Levin's wife passed away, at funeral.  Stabenow. Blanchard. Roberts. 8 yrs ago claimed different, reformer, his party wrong in past, would work with Dems. Bush. Boo! Remember promise to change Wash, change tone.. we saw how it ended. Stocks tumbling, foreclosures, lehman, 8 mos of job loss, health ins, inc down, food up, nec or choice, mult deployments, nation polarized, Wash wealthy and powerful at table the rest of us the menu. 8 yrs later exact same thing, really different, cntry befor party, change the Repub party... we've seen this party before... sequel worse than original.  

    I'm still waiting for some will do's.

    Thanks for the rundown (none / 0) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:47:05 AM EST
    the child in casts commands the television at the moment.  I'm so not happy about not hearing any will do's yet.  They are going to wrap up losing this thing this morning it looks like.  God help us

    I didn't get the (none / 0) (#152)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:10:16 AM EST
    will do's.  I got 'McCain is Bush '44.'  I have a hard time listening to Biden... he's a bloviator and I daze out trying to wait for a plan.

    Note...... (none / 0) (#149)
    by michitucky on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:09:41 AM EST
    Just a clarification that it was Rep. Sander Levin's wife, Vicki, who died of Breast Cancer......Sander is Sen. Carl Levin's brother.  

    That's sad (none / 0) (#157)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:15:19 AM EST
    The Levins are good people.

    Today McCain (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by indy in sc on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:59:42 AM EST
    reiterated his statement that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.  With all of the panic on wallstreet and major financial institutions going down or being bought for pennies on the dollar, that will just reinforce the notion that McCain knows nothing about, or at least is out of touch on, the economy.  

    Now is the time to seize the economy as issue #1 and own it with bite-size solutions (easy for the general population to digest) so that voters will feel that the only choice that will stem the rising economic tide is Obama.

    Both candidates are clueless (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by Prabhata on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:11:00 AM EST
    Obama doesn't understand the problem any more than McCain.  Both parties chose people that are clueless.  Hillary was the best.

    Blame vs solution (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Prabhata on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:25:05 AM EST
    So like Obama is blaming Republicans and McCain promises stronger oversight.  Guess which one is better?
    I miss Hillary.

    Dueling statements ... (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:40:04 AM EST
    on the economy today:


    "The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren't minding the store," Obama said. "Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.


    "The McCain-Palin administration will replace the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street. We will rebuild confidence in our markets and restore our leadership in the financial world."

    I'm sorry but, politically, I think McCain's statement is better.  McCain's statement is solution-based.  It starts with the description of an action. Obama just restates the problem.

    Hello, Barack, we KNOW the problem!  Tell us your solution.

    McCain's statement is ... (none / 0) (#185)
    by santarita on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:08:39 PM EST
    fairly meaningless.   What patchwork of regulations is he talking about?  And what did he propose to do about these as a Senator?  And just how is he going to promote transparency and accountability in Wall Street?  And  does he think that lack of transparency and accountability is the cause of this meltdown?   If that's the sum of his understanding he's probably less qualified that Palin.

    McCain's on (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:47:12 AM EST
    in Orlando.  Introductions and thank yous, jokes. (watched football on Sun and it looks like there may be jobs for Jack Kemp) earmark, porkbarrelers.. change is coming. (aaah, 'my friends') Townhalls: got to know voters, hopes, dreams and aspirations.  Invited Obama to change tone by participating.  Why don't we stand togeterh, I'll even pay for the airplane, I promise not to fly it, but I'll pay for it.

    Economy is crisis, people trying to figure out how to keep jobs, put dood on table.  America in crisis.  Crisis not fault of US people.  Amer worker best in world.  Fundamentals, the workers are strong.  But they are threatened by greed and corruption.  Fix it.  Reform how the do business.  Workers are the strength of economy. Treated WS like a casino.  Efforts aren't matched at top.   End abuses.  Enough is enough.  End greed that has

    Cut CEO pay.  Savings, IRAs protected.  Regulatory system designed in 30s. Too many agencies asleep at the switch.  Best workers in world today, give them a chance.  I know how to bring spending under control, Conress memebers in prison.  We will fix it.  Earmark bill, veto and make them famous.  Immigration reform, right thing to do.  Party doesn't agree.  Comprehensive.  As Pres will reform, temp worker program, path to legalization,

    Mostly talking pts... no earmarks, control CEO pay and re-do regulatory system.  Back to legalization although he didn't explain how that helps the economy.

    Ugh Ugh Ugh (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:58:36 AM EST
    He already did it.  He made the American worker the strong fundamental, he didn't even wait 24 hours the scumbo!

    It looks (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:59:22 AM EST
    like Obama got completely walloped today on an issue that he should have owned.

    If I didn't know that McCain's policy was so awful I might buy what he was selling.

    The line about not flying the plane was pretty good. LOL!


    Holy cr@p (none / 0) (#184)
    by votermom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:02:06 PM EST
    He sounds like Bill Clinton!
    At least on paper. Hopefully his delivery is awful?

    He's good (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:41:46 PM EST
    He tells his jokes and he's very personable... the Jack Kemp joke was good, the 'won't fly the plane' joke was good.  I kept seeing that he is good on the stump with his townhalls but this was the first time I paid attention.  He's good.

    Did anyone see Obama?  I missed it.  Palin (regulation) and McCain (US workers rule) did better than Biden (McCain is Bush '44)  I saw Bill Burton's (cough, @sshole, cough, cough) give a lame change statement and make an (cough) @ss of himself with regards to McCain can't actually type commercial.

    Today is frustrating.  I am disgusted with both parties blatant display of contempt for the voters by refusing to put someone on either ticket with economic bona fides.  It was a signal for me they don't give a flying eff.


    Yes, his delivery not like speeches at all (none / 0) (#198)
    by Strick on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 01:55:26 PM EST
    He was speaking in the more relaxed town hall format where he's the master.

    Practically begged Obama to come with him and talk to people directly, too.  Obama would be a fool to accept.


    Pat Schroeder understands ... (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:00:53 PM EST
    the problem:

    Democrats always want to appeal to folks "higher good." That message works well in the primary but as Dukakis, Gore and Kerry discovered, it is a losing strategy in the general. Obama needs to spend quality time with Bill Clinton, the only Democrat who knows how to fight.

    He also might look in on a day in the life of Michael Dukakis to see what his future holds for him if he doesn't turn this around.

    God I love her (none / 0) (#200)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 03:08:19 PM EST
    I wish we had 100 more of her.  I think growing up in the state where she was a Rep actually affected the type of woman I became.  She was always out there and always vocal and always on message and always cared about the regular people she represented.

    All Democrat's (4.66 / 3) (#27)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:26:19 AM EST
    Need to memorize this comment and use it at every opportunity.

    "Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression."

    Why? We know that. Now, about (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:48:24 AM EST
    what we're going to do about it?  In the future?

    If my kid wrecks the car, I know it was my kid that did it, and I know the car is wrecked.  What I want to know then is how it can be fixed, and who is best to do it.  

    So I shop around.  And if a repair shop just tells me that my car is wrecked, and it's my kid's fault, and doesn't tell me what it can do to fix the car . . . I move on to find a shop that will focus on getting my car back on the road in the future, not focus on the past.

    At this point in this election, I've got only two repair shops.  Both are telling me the car is wrecked, both are blaming the kid.  One is from a company with a better repair record, at least.  But how do I know this mechanic measures up to the company's record, if he's still not telling  me exactly what he's going to do to fix it?


    Your analogy isn't correct (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:57:33 AM EST
    The kid didn't wreck the car.  The owner of one of the repair shops wrecked your car.

    Now, even if the other repair shop doesn't tell you exactly every step he's going to do (bang this dent, paint over here, etc.), where are you going to take your car?

    Oh, and the guy who works at the repair shop that wrecked your car is on record as saying "I don't know much about cars"!!!


    Watch out. Obama wrecked it, then (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:10:56 AM EST
    as one of the guys in the repair shop that was run by a Dem Congress, after all.  Did he even call for Congress to put on the brakes?  

    I've never seen Congress get blamed for (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:25:39 AM EST
    the economy.  It's the President and his Treasury Dept and Council of Economic Advisors.

    And this crisis is so big it's very easy to pin it on the ENTIRE PHILOSOPHY of the Republican Party.

    Even if McCain argues more "reform" is needed, that is just tinkering around the edges.  It won't do.


    Harry Truman (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:46:26 AM EST
    ran against a 'do nothing' Congress and won in an alleged Republican year.

    In so doing he not only retained the White House but got back both houses of Congress.

    He ran against Republicans.


    The candidate with the moustache always loses :) (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:54:25 AM EST
    steviez314 (none / 0) (#103)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:14:26 AM EST
    love it.  You just made my morning.

    It was particularly funny to see pictures of Dewey with his perfectly trimmed moustache and elegent attire standing in a barn yard pitching for the farm vote.


    your theory (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:16:16 AM EST
    on who wrecked the car only works if you can convince the voters that McCain is a true republican. The voters have never had that impression of McCain. And, so far, the McCain = Bush hasn't been sticking.

    if I can just stretch (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by ccpup on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:32:54 AM EST
    this analogy a little further, not only is McCain-Palin NOT being seen as the Republican Repair Shop, they're actually successfully branding themselves as the repair shop that blew the whistle on the other repair shops for doing shoddy work and lying about it.

    Therefore, their repair shop will not only do the job, it'll do it honestly even if those other repair shops get angry and won't like them or let them sit at the Cool Repair Shops lunch table.

    But they don't care because the McCain-Palin repair shop is a Game Changing Maverick shop and that's what your car needs right now.  

    The Obama-Biden repair shop is good at telling you you have a dent and your tires need changing and you were obviously in an accident, but one mechanic has been fixing cars for 35 years and they still wheeze their way back into the garage a year or two later and the other mechanic -- the Head mechanic -- has yet to fix a car and it says nowhere on his resume that he's ever popped a hood or dinged out a dent, but he smoothly assures you that once you give him the tools and write him a big check, he'll know what to do.  Just trust him.  

    It's beginning to make sense why the cars are lining up in front of McCain-Palin even though Obama-Biden is open and free and ready to do business.

    Hey, I warned you I'd stretch the analogy a bit.  :-)


    My view about fundamentally strong (3.50 / 2) (#179)
    by Prabhata on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:58:37 AM EST
    No candidate should say that the economy is going to hell in a hand-basket.  McCain is correct to say that the economy is fundamentally strong.  A patient should not be told: "Oh, dear, you're dying; it's hopeless."

    No, Jeralyn, it's time for Obama to step aside (3.33 / 6) (#65)
    by goldberry on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:39:38 AM EST
    For the good of the economy, for the good of the party, for the good of us all.
    We have no confidence in his ability to fix this.  The situation calls for a strong, experienced hand with a level head and a good mentor.  
    That is not McCain but it is ridiculous to offer Obama as the alternative.  
    It is time to call for him to step down.  We have every right to expect him to do this for the good of the party.  We are headed for electoral and economic disaster.  If the Republicans win the WH and the Congress, there will be no one to blame but Obama and the people who foolishly supported him in spite of all of the warning signs.  
    Now, go ahead and ban me, Jeralyn.  It won't change reality.  The Dems cannot win with Obama at the top of the ticket and if they don't replace him immediately, they are to blame for what happens later.  

    Well. . . (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:47:39 AM EST
    If the Republicans win the WH and the Congress, there will be no one to blame but Obama

    I'll certainly lay a lot of the blame on so-called liberal voters who are so conceited and such sore losers that they can't see the obvious difference between the two candidates.


    Nope (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:51:31 AM EST
    the blame lays with Obama. Obama is responsible for his bad campaign. No one else. Obama is going to have to swallow that poisonous pride if he wants to win.

    When someone requires. . . (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:56:11 AM EST
    that Obama take the step of withdrawing from the campaign in order to win their support, then there's plenty of blame for them too.

    Ultimately, every candidate bears responsibility for their own campaign -- so Obama deserves credit for his winning primary campaign, Clinton deserves blame for her campaign's well-known mistakes, and Obama deserves blame for the fact that he's not running better than he is (but credit for the fact that it's still tied).

    That doesn't negate the fact that sore losers who are willing to sacrifice the next four years of governance also deserve blame for their attitude.

    If Obama loses there will be plenty of blame to go around.  If he wins, I hope you'll remember to credit him (and, according to your logic, no one else).


    The irony (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:03:23 AM EST
    I see is that Obama's supporters don't seem to want to credit him either. It seems they are expecting circumstances to deliver the election for him.

    You have to realize that there's a reason Obama is doing poorly in the polls. Frankly, he's starting to drag down the congressional and senate races which has me much more concerned than the presidential race.

    I don't want to replay the primary but it was essentially tied. We all know the super D's were the ones who decided who the nominee was. It would have been the same way if Hillary was the nominee.

    Polls are showing that voters don't have much faith in Obama when it comes to economy. Being a few points ahead of McCain simply isn't going to do it. And now the party has gone public with the fact that Obama needs to ahead 4-6 points in the polls to account for racial bias in the electorate. It seems they're already putting out the "Obama's going to lose" narrative.


    The irony indeed! (3.50 / 2) (#120)
    by alexei on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:31:29 AM EST
    Obama supporters really know how to get people to vote for their candidate; just like Obama is so good at getting people to vote for him.

    You all need to get it over it and face the hard reality that Obama has not connected as yet and may never connect with voters. So, what to do?  I'm working as best as I can for down ticket Dems - unfortunately, because of this economy and my economic situation, I can't do a whole lot except on local and state races, except, I will volunteer for Shaheen and Shea Porter.

    Their is a real possibility that we can get Republican rule again and it is Obama and his Dem enablers that have opened up this possibility.  I have no illusions about Hillary being on the ticket.  However, I also don't want to waste any of my precious resources on a losing candidate who at this stage is not electable and I don't see any signs that he or his handlers have any clue to change the rail to avoid the train wreck.  I want to minimize the collateral damage - get Dems elected to counterweight another Republican President.


    please tell me (none / 0) (#126)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:38:17 AM EST
    they haven't said in public that Obama needs to be ahead by 4 - 6 points to account for racial bias. They just spent an entire week accusing the repugs of shedding crocodile tears about 'imagined' sexism against Palin. And, now they are playing the preemptive race card again? STOP IT, just STOP IT. Obama was recently saying he wanted to discuss issues. Is racial bias the issue he was talking about then? Is his campaign trying to use guilt to gain votes?

    I wish (none / 0) (#160)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:18:57 AM EST
    I was. It was in the guardian UK. It was in an article about how the dems are all contacting his campaign telling him to get off his duff and do what will win this thing. The campaign isn't returning phone calls.

    Not that we know anyone like that! (none / 0) (#77)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:50:23 AM EST
    I love your use of "we." (3.00 / 2) (#70)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:44:38 AM EST
    You have an endless ability to speak for others.

    This should be a pretty black monday (none / 0) (#4)
    by Saul on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:40:37 AM EST
    on the stock market today.

    No profanity please (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 07:47:32 AM EST

    Obama v McCain foreclosure crisis (none / 0) (#25)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:24:53 AM EST
    If that report is accurate (none / 0) (#122)
    by frenly on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:35:05 AM EST
    then Obama's plan is not a good one from a economic POV, sorry to say.  That doesn't mean I'm convinced that McCain knows what the heck he's doing but still...

    as i said all along (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:26:59 AM EST
    the economy will be the deal breaker.  Of course McCain has gained ground on the economy issue in recent polls but truly his economic plan is consistent with his statement that he doesn't know much about the economy.  

    And remember, no matter the truth, (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:44:21 AM EST
    if Obama won't sell financial competence, McCain will try like hell to.

    Yeah (5.00 / 0) (#80)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:52:01 AM EST
    interesting that McCain and Pallin are running against Republicans.  Obama gives us phrases like 'economic philosophy.'



    This is the type of ad ... (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:23:24 AM EST
    Obama should have run weeks ago.

    And if McCain can even reach parity on the "solutions" argument on the economy, then this is over.

    With the news on Wall Street, if Obama can't win the news cycle today, what day can he?


    depressingly good (none / 0) (#100)
    by votermom on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:07:52 AM EST
    ad. Who doesn't want tougher rules on Wall Street and lower gas prices?

    I suppose (none / 0) (#36)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 08:47:54 AM EST
    this is the acid test of how well Obama has taken ownership of the economy issue.  Or, perhaps, how durable the Democratic brand is in spite of him.  Not sure what the poll numbers suggest as far as trust of Obama/McCain to deal with the economy as opposed to trust of Ds/Rs in general.

    Well, _there's_ a difference between (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:41:10 AM EST
    Obama and Clinton.  I'm not really sure that Obama has been trying to "own" any particular issue (except possibly a withdrawal from Iraq).  Clinton, I think, was more willing to attach her campaign to specific issues (such as health care).

    I'm no politician (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:45:41 AM EST
    but it just seems to me like it wouldn't have been the worst idea, in this particular year, to try and take ownership of the economy issue.  Who knows.  Maybe pick a VP who has demonstrated the ability to win the trust of voters on the economy, not that any names come to mind or anything.

    ir probably wasn't a good idea (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:52:08 AM EST
    earlier in the primaries to trash the Clinton administrationa dnclaim the republicans were the party of ideas for the last 10 - 15 years either. Also, spending the entire campaign talking about bi-partisanship and listening to goode ideas from both parties doesn't make it easy to start claiming now that the repugs are totally responsible for the economic mess and don't understand economics and have no good ideas on how to fix it.

    You mean. . . (none / 0) (#76)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:49:34 AM EST
    Alan Greenspan?  Too old, don't you think?

    There ya go (none / 0) (#83)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:52:49 AM EST
    A classic "don't change horsemen in the middle of the apocalypse" pick.

    Glue factory. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:57:07 AM EST
    Just sayin'.

    Cute (none / 0) (#84)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:53:34 AM EST
    Worried (none / 0) (#46)
    by WS on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:05:15 AM EST
    that Obama isn't listening.  Plouffe said that it was going to be the first day of the new campaign and they were taking the gloves off etc but I don't see a difference in their campaigning.  It could be that it takes time to set up but they should hurry.

    All they have to do is grab the headlines by doing what BTD proposed and roll out President Clinton.  Also, instead of complaining about Republican attacks, he can say "While the Republicans practice the same old politics, I offer a plan to... I have a plan to... I will..."  They do have to say the attacks are wrong and false but they need to pivot to the issues that people care about.    

    Feh, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:17:26 AM EST
    quit the same old politics line. He's been playing the same old politics too. I agree with the rest of the statement. Obama needs to offer some solutions.

    President Clinton said that he would campaign for him in Oct. after his global conference. Obama can't roll him out now.


    Kerry (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by WS on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:34:02 AM EST
    There were complaints that Kerry ignored attacks on him until it was too late.  He has to address Repub faux outrage attacks and then pivot to the solutions.  

    Obama has a different way of campaigning than Hillary and it has to involve his new politics stuff but more subtly.  An example would be his gas tax holiday rebuttal, which I thought would hurt him, but the polls were split with an edge to a gas tax holiday being a bad idea.      


    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:41:03 AM EST
    iirc, most voters supported the gas tax holiday. Not by much though. The way Obama played it though was bad. He made fun of people getting a little bit of money. Played right into the "elitist" meme.

    Yeah, he played it so bad (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:46:11 AM EST
    he came within 1 point in Indiana and won NC easily, which were the 2 primaries right after the gas tax holiday was proposed by McCain and Clinton.



    Well (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:52:46 AM EST
    I confess this is the first time I've seen anyone credit the gas tax argument for Obama's win in NC.  But I think the more salient point is that we're not in the Democratic primary any more.

    And that is the crux of this... (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by alexei on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:52:30 AM EST
    Obama, his campaign and his supporters don't seem to understand this fact.  What "worked" in the Primary, is irrelevant and in some cases, detrimental to a GE election.  Solutions, solutions, solutions - and why do we need to elect Dems to govern and implement these solutions should be the mantra of Obama. Most posters here have been stating this time and again.

    No more irrelevant and "cutesy" references that can be blown up in your face. Stop the whining about how McCain is distorting your positions and stop acknowledging Palin - this is weak and Dukakis like.

    Look, people are frightened about this economy and we need real leadership - give voters a reason to vote for you and not just against your opponent. I am listening - and this is from someone who has strong reservations about Obama.


    Really? (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:54:01 AM EST
    Demographics and locations won those primaries. Nothing else. If it was such a salient issue why is he losing huge in NC right now?

    The purest test of the gas tax holiday argument (3.00 / 0) (#92)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:57:34 AM EST
    came in those 2 primaries.  You said Obama's opposition made him seem elitist.  You have no evidence to support that.

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised at that.


    Again (5.00 / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:07:10 AM EST
    why is Obama doing so poorly in NC right now? And the elitism stuff doesn't work with primary voters.

    Indiana is not a point in Obama's favor (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 09:55:06 AM EST
    His inability to win that state in the primary is very troubling to me as we look toward November.

    Obama (5.00 / 0) (#107)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:20:28 AM EST
    lost Indiana in spite of a large early lead and a significant percentage of NC Democrats are black.

    You don't have a point.


    Indiana (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by WS on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:41:40 AM EST
    was traumatizing for me as the polls showed, Hillary had a more than 5-something like 8 point lead going into election day.  Either Obama had great organization, the rural people didn't come out as large as expected, or unsavory stuff happened in Lake County.  

    I was shocked when the African American population amounted to 18% of the vote when they're only 9% of the IN population.  Indiana is said to be the northernmost Southern state so the state might exhibit Southern state Democratic primary voting trends but the state also exhibits Midwestern characteristics where the African American voting power didn't double like it did in IN.      


    I think the same type of thing happened in NC (none / 0) (#137)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:56:09 AM EST
    where several polls in the final days showed the race tightening toward Hillary. Bill had done a lot of campaiging in small towns in NC. And, huge crowds came out to SEE him. But, in the end Clinton didn't get the turnout she needed in the small rural areas to be able to do better. The same might be true for what the polls said was happening in the final days in Indiana. In NC, Hillary won the rural areas by HUGE margins, but too many people stayed home.

    Q and CBS/NYT on the gas tax holiday (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by WS on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:48:10 AM EST
    Quinnipiac and CBS/NYT both said more people said it was a bad idea.  

    McCain has largely abandoned this idea as they've moved on to the more potent drill everywhere pander.

    I really thought this was going to hurt Obama but it didn't turn out that way with the polls mixed or leaning on it being a bad idea.  Sometimes Obama can actually do something right and this was an example.        


    BTD (none / 0) (#124)
    by cannondaddy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:36:45 AM EST
    An update needed your post: McCain said the fundamentals are strong just today.

    As someone who majored in business (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:09:48 AM EST
    a Republican will argue pointedly with us all day until the cows come home noting certain things that indicate the fundamentals are strong.  Don't think McCain is just pulling this out of his a$$.  He knows he has to be responsible for saying it very very soon.  He's going to do a Ronnie Reagan on us and point out that America is a country of hard working people and as long as we have that and he will pan the audience with his open yet low POW arms, our fundamentals are strong.  With the strength and work of the American people and McCain/Palin Wall Street reforms, this will never happen again.  You are talking Unamerican now......  The added weakness of the weak fundamentals message at this time is that this is right now a financial institution crisis and is affecting the commercial banking market, which will eventually affect the consumer banking market but just not today and I'm not exactly sure that will happen in the next 50 days.  Many times when people "feel" something then they realize that our fundamentals aren't strong and this won't be felt for awhile.  We don't even have two monthly billing cycles to work with here.

    In A Time of Crisis... (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by santarita on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:22:31 PM EST
    a national leader has to say reassuring things to the people.  It's no different now.  Saying that the fundamentals are strong is reassuring even if so vague as to be meaningless.  

    I don't fault McCain for saying vague reassuring things at this point.  I think he has to do more than give vague reassurances.


    Reminds me (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 01:03:15 PM EST
    of how the Bush Administration was nice enough to say reassuring things about the air quality in downtown NYC after 9/11.  Time of crisis, you know, gotta keep people feeling good.

    Palin's on (none / 0) (#125)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:37:53 AM EST
    the 3 cable networks.  she's doing economy...Wash asleep at the switch regarding economy, she says her an McCain want regulatory system completely overhauled, co's have betrayed their employees and shareholders (who actually own the cos), eliminate golden parachutes, no Fed bailout of Lehman.. etc. Reform, govt on side of people.  She has an annoying habit of asking for votes.  Another meme they push is independence from party.  Hitting lobbyists and special interests.  She's returning state surplus back to the people. They have a commercial fishing operation?  Their parents have a hardware store? Get govt out of the way of businesses?

    Biden's up next.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:05:37 AM EST
    at least half of what she's saying is appealing. Though I have to ask the question: Isn't she actually proposing more regulation and less regulation in the same paragraph? The first half was strong but the second half was nothing more than regurgitated GOP talking points.

    Yes (none / 0) (#148)
    by waldenpond on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:08:35 AM EST
    The was the regulation push and then the iffy statement about leaving businesses alone.  I think the campaign line is to regulate big business and leave small business alone.  If so, she blew it.

    She did fine for the first part.  The second was just blah, blah, blah.


    Triangulating (none / 0) (#134)
    by WS on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:54:05 AM EST
    The Republicans are triangulating (which I don't condemn like other lefties).  Obama should say they can't be trusted in the driver's seat since they're proposing the same thing as Bush and stress Obama/Dem policies.  

    McCain isn't all that specific and Obama can counter by emphasizing his plan for the economy in a specific manner.  They can't go that far as Obama because it would be too much regulation and "Big Government" for McCain.  


    Contradictory Ideas... (none / 0) (#190)
    by santarita on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:25:00 PM EST
    McCain and Palin can't seriously lay the blame for what has happened at the feet of the government and then talk about getting government out of people's affairs.

    Obama in NY State (none / 0) (#136)
    by JBJB on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 10:55:06 AM EST
    There is some polling data out the shows Obama has lost significant support in NY, now ahead by only 5 or 6 points. While I don't think there is any chance Obama could lose NY, I find it very curious. Even though Hillary claims she wants Obama to win, could it be that many of her supporters feel their only shot to get her to the White house is to not support Obama?

    IACF! (none / 0) (#141)
    by andgarden on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:01:28 AM EST
    Point 1, that same polling company had (none / 0) (#169)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:34:24 AM EST
    Obama down by that much 4 months ago. They jump around alot. Point 2, not all New Yorkers are Clinton supporters (Obama did well here) and  most supporters don't think like that.

    Yes, if you consider ... (none / 0) (#173)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:45:05 AM EST
    a 17% loss "doing well," then Obama did well in NY.

    It's not great, but it was still a decent slice of (none / 0) (#175)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:47:15 AM EST
    the Democratic electorate.

    NY, NY... (none / 0) (#194)
    by oldpro on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    No chance Obama could lose New York?

    Very few of us thought Pataki would throw Mario Cuomo out of the governor's mansion, either, or saw the size of the Gingrich revolution or the Reagan takeover for what it was.

    Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.

    If Obama loses New York it won't be the fault of Democrats who were/are Hillary supporters out to teach Obama a lesson.  For the most part, they will vote Democratic.  The Hillary voters who won't just transfer their votes to Obama are Independents and Republicans who voted for her...in New York and in every other state...and only Obama can make that sale.

    Or not.


    Obama in VA (none / 0) (#176)
    by WS on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 11:51:20 AM EST
    New SUSA poll has O up 4 50-46.  That made my day but hopefully other polls confirm this trend.  

    To stay on topic, Obama has to be specific on the economy.  The Republicans are already trying to say they'll be tough on business (like that'll happen) but Obama can be specific and highlight his Dem policies for a more stable regulatory economy.  The Republican de-regulation mentality has failed and we are now seeing the consequences of this policy.    

    BTD, Speaking Only for Himself (none / 0) (#189)
    by Doc Rock on Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 12:23:44 PM EST
    90+% of the time he speaks for me--we're on the same page.  Thanks, BTD!