All sorts of notions have been put forward as to why the bailout bill failed, with fingers pointed just about everywhere. But the real reason is a rather simple one. Under our constitutional scheme, Congress isn't designed to act that fast -- with the exception of a declaration of war. The idea that a Treasury Secretary could announce a crisis that no one can yet really see, come up with a plan that would largely give him enormous and unpreceented power to solve it, and that Congress would go along immediately was crazy.
As long as the economy remains center focus, the McCain effort marches backwards. And the failure of the bill to pass does make one wonder how many arms he was able to twist while taking his celebrated break from the campaign.
The hunch here is that there will eventually be a bill. But probably not fast enough to rescue McCain, who now really needs a stalwart performance from Sarah Palin Thursday to begin to change the tide. Good luck!
Briefly, Barack Obama was composed and presidential throughout and
may have convinced some voters concerned about his inexperience that
he's prepared for the presidency. John McCain had a lackluster start --
when the topic was the economy -- but got better as the debate
progressed when the topics turned to foreign policy and he could argue
Obama was too naive and untested to be president.
The McCain campaign is in trouble. The economy's woes have hit his efforts badly -- as voters have simply revolted against anything that reminds them of the incumbent -- and his impulsive behavior over the past week, while it can be defended, could well raise the question in many voters' minds whether McCain even has the right temperament to be president.
How the candidates address one another. Michael Dukakis, in his 1988 debates with George H. W. Bush, almost always referred to the latter as "Mr. Vice President" while Bush referred to Dukakis only as "my opponent." Can't recall Bush addressing Dukakis by his name or his title as governor. Dukakis, while socially correct, inadvertently reminded the viewer of Bush having something of an exalted title.
The answer, at least for now, appears to be yes, as the polls have begun to move back the other way. Maybe it's just the natural ebb and flow of public opinion. Maybe it's because a financial deal looks close and fear may be subsiding.
Or maybe McCain has impressed enough members of the public (say 1 in a 100) to move the polls back in his direction a little.
Right now, the polls are showing blow-out numbers for Barack Obama, with leads even in states such as North Carolina. If it holds up, he wins big. John McCain essentially has to change the dynamic of the race now -- both by hoping the economic situation settles down considerably over the next three weeks and through his debate performances.
Last week's financial fright-fest has forced the punditocracy to realize and to discuss what most Americans have felt for a long time. Long before these past two weeks, Gallup did a poll about the differing perceptions of the economy sorted by state. Daniel Brook's (highly-recommended) book The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take All America details the coarsening of our culture through economics in painful, frustrating, and furious detail.
Yesterday, we posted an item, urging the candidates to take a step away from their political roles and deal with the financial crisis as true leaders. One of the candidates is doing that. Unfortunately (and we write this as an Obama partisan), it's John McCain who has suspended his campaign and headed to Washington, even asking that Friday night's debate be postponed.
An analysis of the race by the Tote Board.
The financial crisis has completely pushed the presidential campaign to the sidelines. But a lot of that is due to the failure of both candidates to address the situation adequately. As Congress debates a bill that will radically change the way the economy is structured -- and the extent to which the next president will be able to achieve even a portion of his goals -- both candidates continue to attack each other over trivialities.
Isn't Sarah a bit of a hypocrite? She claims to be a devout Christian yet her 17 years old daughter is preggers. Most young daughters of devout parents tend not to stray from their parents' teachings and prohibitions.
The Alaska state legislature struggled for some time with legalizing pot. Finally permitted was the presence in the home of 4 ounces or less of marijuana.
This piece more than any other I've read in the last couple of weeks captures what I think has happened to the race and to Barack Obama's campaign. Here's hoping he gets the message.
John McCain's speech last night drew an audience of 39 million, surpassing Barack Obama's tremendous audience of the week before by about a million. As noted earlier, we didn't give the speech particularly high marks and undoubtedly, an NFL lead-in on NBC helped the totals.
But 39 million is a lot of people. Look for a McCain bounce over the next few days that could well put him in the lead in the polls for the first time in a long time.