October 13, 2008

On McCain

Donald B. Hawthorne

Jennifer Rubin:

...GOP angst about the McCain team is bubbling over: make character an issue or don't, come up with a comprehensive economic plan or don’t. It’s the indecision and half-heartedness that are so frustrating. Few would quibble with Bill Kristol’s assessment that "it’s really become a pathetic campaign in the sense that there’s no strategy." (It’s tempting to go one step further and "fire the campaign.")...

McCain finally finds the "divided government" argument. It’s a compelling one for Independents who don’t trust either party and have seen Nancy Pelosi in action...

I’m not alone in surmising that McCain’s campaign isn’t about anything because he has no core governing philosophy: "He’s been running for president, more on than off, for almost a decade, but his determination hasn’t had much to do with a highly defined ideology, program or set of policies. What underlies his ambition are values: service, patriotism, duty, honor." That’s all well and good, except if the country needs a defined ideology, program or set of policies to guide us through an economic trauma...

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Daily Show viewers may remember that they did a piece on how hard John McCain is working to lose this campaign over a month ago. I'd say they were right.

Posted by: Greg at October 13, 2008 9:34 AM

It's only a guess, but I'd bet that the McCain campaign had planned to make character and experience the key issues in the final weeks of the election.

I think the Wall Street meltdown forced McCain's campaign to alter its strategy at the last minute and, unlike Obama, I think McCain is trying to develop an economic policy that works.

However, developing a great solution a day after the election won't make a difference.

At the same time, Obama continues to promote his same economic plan that would only further devastate the economy--

-Raise capital gains taxes on stock sales (which would undoubtedly lead to further sell-offs before the tax increases take effect at a time when the opposite effect is what we need);

-Continue to tell Americans that he'll cut personal income taxes just as Clinton promised in '92, while not telling people that under his plan a HOUSEHOLD (not an individual) with an adjusted gross income of about $100K means that you're no longer "middle class";

-Hammer home the falsehood that only those making over $250K will see a tax increase;

-Tell every special interest group that he'll increase government spending on their behalf, even though Congress has approved a $700B package.

About the only change Obama has made is to drop his previous focus on affordable housing.

This past weekend, I saw two economists that supported Obama being interviewed on TV. The funny thing is that when they were asked about Obama's economic proposals, they responded by saying that one of the reasons they supported him is because the didn't think Obama would be able to advance his tax and spending plans. They thought that the bailout package would prevent Obama from implementing his program. The economists went on to say that Obama would be forced to govern from the center.

Essentially, the economist were supporting Obama not because they agreed with plan, but because they felt Obama could never implement his plan!

But unlike McCain, Obama is selling A plan to the voters. It's the equivalent of selling salt to the wounded, but he is selling something.

McCain has a few weeks left to point out the flaws in Obama's plan and to promote an alternative solution.

Posted by: Anthony at October 13, 2008 11:16 AM
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