How McCain is Losing the Bailout War

Tom Edsall says my irresponsible anti-bailout jockeying could crash the economy. Can I have dibs on the Ruffini Recession Depression?

Seriously, why is it that I was exercised enough to write that Republicans should oppose the bailout, even if (actually, especially if) it seems likely to pass? Because of this:

More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.

People are going to have to bring themselves to admit that the political economy of this matters. There is an election in 41 days. And that the outcome of that election may count for as much or more as the outcome of the bailout.

From where we stand today, the race is categorically different than it was two weeks ago. This is not a waning of the Republican convention bounce. It was a sudden shift to Obama that unfolded over a few days egged on by the financial crisis. The RCP average shows it. Perhaps the most precise pinpointing of it is the R2000 overnights, which had McCain up 1 on Friday, September 12th, Obama +3 on Saturday and Sunday, +4 on Monday, +5 Tuesday, and +8 Wednesday. The Lehman Brothers / Merrill collapse happened that weekend. AIG happened on Tuesday.

The GOP's best hope of jamming up Obama's messaging on change was not necessarily to stop the bailout, but to seem like the side most hostile to it and to the status quo largely shaped by an an out of control Fannie and Freddie. Driving the fact that Fannie and Freddie were Democratic patronage mills was crucial from day one (instead we got the Chris Cox distraction, which had nothing to do with anything). Also throwing the President's "ownership society" under the bus -- in which a lot of bad loans were encouraged in the name of showing good minority and low-income homeownership numbers. McCain and the GOP needed to use this to achieve clear separation from Bush and the corrupt Dodd/Rangel Congress, even if it was mostly symbolic on the question of the bailout itself.

Instead what happens? It's Barack Obama who gets to play politics with this while doing nothing to stop the bailout, huffing and puffing about "no blank check" and socializing Wall Street. This is posturing, pure and simple. But it is effective posturing. And no one is accusing Obama, Reid, and Dodd of submaring the bailout despite tacking on their list of demands.

There will be 2 or 3 more chances to turn around this election. One will be the debate period starting Friday night. The second will be the post-debate sprint. And the third will be the final weekend, where we'll be on October Surprise alert. But there is no doubt we enter this period at a slight disadvantage, because we failed in the last 10 days to fight this to a draw.

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I think it's Bush, not "just" the bailout

With Bush staying out of the headlines during August and early September, Obama didn't have any means to make "McSame" get traction. Mac was able to make this a mano-a-mano on relative candidate capabilities and overtake Obama..

Any major crisis-foreign or domestic--was going to complicate this by putting the painfully unpopular Bush front and center of the public debate. Now McCain has to either stand up for a political millstone, or publicly throw him under the bus.

The fact this issue plays to the worst stereotypes about the GOP only is icing on the cake.

 

 

No we need him IN the headlines here

No we need Bush IN the headlines, in this case. The FACT is Bush and the GOP have been warning about this for 10 years or more! All this crashing and burning is tied DIRECTLY to the Dem's failed policies. The media is not telling people this if they think the Dems are the go to guys on the economy!

I agree Warner T....

...the President  needs to remove himself from the step by the front door of the White House - the door that the dem's now freely enter.   He needs to cease in his capacity of "official doormat" with the words  "democrats - wipe your soiled feet on me"  printed.  He needs get that constipated look off of his face.    "Man-Up and start being the leader we all know you can be, George!".  Its also time for him to load up every scrap of the "New Tone" and haul the entire disgusting mess out to the White House dumpster.   The one thing we can thank George W. Bush for?  He has demonstrated clearly that the New Tone method of dealing w/democrats WILL NOT WORK IN WASHINGTON DC!   DC is not Austin!  There should be no doubts left in any Republicans mind about this. 

Once done, he needs to go to the defense of his GOP!  Stop sitting there watching the mugging take place!    And place the blame squarely where it belongs - the democrat party & Rino's.   Ask them why they didn't heed his warning back in 2003 and demand an answer.  He must instruct his Justice Dept to begin investigations to determine if any laws were broken and if they were - "who broke them?".   Once this is completed then he can begin to make his case for the bailout. 

We must all be in Prayer for our President now.  The dem's have him exactly where they want him.  They've bullied and intimidated him.  Like Saddam, he's hiding in a "spider hole".  "Come out Mr. President.  We need you in this battle."  Darvin Dowdy

Won't work

Bush's approval ratings are too low to allow him to make a credible attack on the Dems. Only national level R with the standing to do this is McCain. And then he can;t attack Obama's qualifications

No, I think it could work

I found out about "the next right" a little over ten weeks ago and until now I've never disagreed with you, but this time I do.  Bush needs to come out and he needs to come out strong.  This is going to be the second most defining moment of his presidency.  In a moment of crisis anyone can be a hero if they do the right thing. Remember we love underdogs and second chances in the US!

With that Bush needs to show:

-that he is repentant, that he screwed up and tell us how and when he screwed up; and then throw himself under the bus.

- Then he needs to throw other deserving people under the bus, first with republicans and then with  democrats. We deserve honesty and we wont except anything less in this situation.

- He then needs to make a case for the plan to get this fixed

- Finally he has to remain non-partisan. The only thing he can say is "I hope Senators Obama and McCain will lend their leadership in the speedy resolution to this" cause "anything more or less is evil" as the good book would say.

And then hopefully McCain has his skates sharp and pull a Wayne Gretzky.

 

Barack IS the Outsider, so He Wins

I'm not sure I trust this poll, but I do trust the trendline it represents. McCain has been fighting a run of bad luck and bad press for two weeks now. 

As long as Bush stays in the News, it's poison for McCain.

Meantime, the news media has been decidedly biased and partisan through this crisis, as it helps their guy. There's literally nothing we can do about that. To borrow from Tony Blankley's Column of today, the Volkishcher Beobachter media will elect Barack Obama come hell or high water.

There will be two decisive moments: the first debate and, strangely enough, Sarah Palin's debate. Quite frankly, I believe that the Republicans should play this bailout straight to get what they can out of it so they can get it out of the way. McCain should highlight the pork that the Democrats are ladeling the bill up with on the Campaign trail, and use Palin to name names, especially in her debate, which will draw as many viewers as McCain/Obama. I'm rather convinced that Steve Schmidt has been playing possum with Palin, and that she's much better than is being let on. 

All that said, Republicans must be on the side of people staying in their homes. Republicans must be on the side of reducing foreclosures. Any other kind of politics leads to President Obama and Pelosiville. McCain must not drink out of the Cup of Stupid as Barry Goldwater did in 1964 over Civil Rights. 

McCain's only chance is to be Harry Truman and give them hell. There's no other way. He has about ten days to become the Tribune of the Middle Class, or this thing is over. 

McCain needs to do a Wayne Gretzky

His skill was not skating to where the puck was, it was knowing how to skate to where the puck was going to go.

How to pay for bailing out Wall Street and giving away goodies to "community organizers" is where the puck is going. McCain needs to rev up the anti-pork offensive

 

McCain SHOULD lose the bailout War

He should lose the bailout war - and so should the Republicans.  The party of Bush needs to leave dodge for a while and let some younger, fresh, forward-thinking fellas take a shot at things for a change.  This country is a complete mess... domestically, internationally...inept government...  and now McCain looks like a fool saying he'd fire Cox and install Cuomo?  He's falling over himself to make it appear to the public as if HE's for the little guy and the middle class which has been so negatively affected by conservative - pro millionaire/billionaire policies.  This party is corrupt and a DISASTER! 

What the heck is a $700B blank check?

Excuse me for interrupting. A blank check is a check that has been signed but with the amount payable left blank. You might think a Harvard-educated lawyer would see the silliness of labelling a defined amount (granted, it's suspicious) a blank check. It's kind of scary, actually, that he doesn't know what a blank check is... Nevertheless, the bill does define the amount available for this bailout, does it not? Or do he and Pelosi know something about the bill that we don't?

'A blank check'

is a colloquial expression, meaning giving something without any strings attached or limitations.

I get that political campaigns like to play the 'let's read something literally to distort what our opponent said' game but is it necessary to have it in political websites?

Or maybe you think that the phrase 'raining cats and dogs' refers to REAL cats and dogs?

McCain and the Debate

This decision to go public with cancelling his debate appearance on Friday is yet ANOTHER awful move from a campaign that has been terrible for a month now, ever since the reprieve they got with the Palin decision.

If this is the best that the "best in the business" team of Karl Rove and Schmidt and Davis are able to come up with, McCain and the GOP are going to have a REAALLLLY long October.

Really bad campaign

I agree Jim Dandy, the McCain is really failing here. I can't remember a series of mistakes this bad from one campaign.

It's probably time to stick a fork in it.

Patrick is being humorous

After months of reading posts by Patrick on how internet gimmicks and niche campaign strategies would return the Republicans to power, it is now humorous to seem him panic when Republicans actually have to address real world issues.  Maybe nominating a candidate who is incapable of understanding his briefing books and surrounding that candiate with the failed advisors from the Bush Administation should be seen as horrible mistakes.

Maybe Patrick will realize that ability, competence, and leadership skills are really more important than internet gimmicks and campaign strategies.  Maybe McCain should have refuse to hire anyone assocaited with the Bush Administration is read of surrounding himself with former Bush Staffers.

My guess is that come next January, Patrick will be writing a column about how he is leaving the Repullbicans because the Republican party has left him.  If Patrick wants to have a future in politics, he better change to being a Democrat.  It is obvious that McCain is just another symptom of the collapse of conservative politics in the U.S.