DEVOID OF IDEAS McCAIN NEEDS TO GO DEEP AND FAST
Politics is a game where the ends always justify the means. Even with perceived calamity on the horizon the candidacies of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are simply about winning the election.
Anything beyond that is work to be done by the winner.
This is why folks (Walter Shapiro's column in Salon is uncommonly uneven, the last half regarding Americans confusion over the bailout bill is quite interesting, though) shouldn't be surprised that either candidate has been virtually silent on their respective plans to alleviate the throbbing economy.
McCain's political ploy to appear on the ball--to be act presidential in a time of crisis--meandered quickly after he failed to pose one question during the much-anticipated meeting with President Bush, Obama and others in the Treasury.
During last Friday's debate, moderator Jim Lehrer, like most American viewers, felt both candidates relied upon the same old crutches like tax cuts or raising taxes or McCain's beloved earmarks. There was nothing new in either responses and both looked befuddled by the prompt.
It's not for lack of trying or a dearth of opinions in either campaign. It's politics, yet it behooves McCain to be playing this sort of defensive politics when he is the candidate trailing with 35 days to go.
Obama has no reason to offer a detailed plan. As the frontrunner, he simply needs to run out the clock and possibily pick up some unexpected victories down the line as the view of a rout becomes evident.
It may seem immoral for a candidate to do so under these circumstances. The people are jittery. The banks and businesses are trembling and the likely holder of the Oval Office does not have a plan?
You might ask who does have a plan and who knows exactly what will happen with or without some type of financial bailout from the Treasury? President Bush has effectively extricated himself from the crisis. Who is to say that the executive branch has the power to help other than to support and guide the political discourse?
The peculiar part of this political strategy is McCain playing the same defensive stance as the Democrat. He doesn't have another fabricated ploy left like choosing an empty dress suit or throwing every easily verifiable untruth against the wall, hoping one sticks with the uninformed (those possibly already believing Obama to be Muslim).
It could be McCain truly does not know a lick about economics like he is want to say. Maybe he thinks he's winning? Most likely the president campaign that never could has epically stalled. It can't play offense and never has all the way up to today. McCain clinched the nomination nearly three months before Obama and still looked as if the Illinois senator had a head start.
This election has been nothing but McCain barely reacting, barely fighting and supremely devoid of any ideas. Is it a wonder that the Obama charge of McBush and Bush III have stuck with voters. The failed policies of President Bush are all the fuel the Straight Talk Express runs on nowadays.