Left is right; Keynes is King; Banks are poor and your average worker is….well…poorer. And in the midst of it two candidates vie for what has become the poisoned chalice that is the Presidency of the United States.
Look at what’s happening in the world right now. Today’s Crikey headline summed it up well: “Everywhere you look: Carnage!” They’re talking about the world economy – the response to the Bail Out has been less that bullish with the stock markets in the USA, Europe, Japan, Russia – hell let’s just say everywhere – heading south today.
Carnage could just as easily describe John McCain’s campaign. The two are linked like Siamese twins – and one of them has died. Actually, it’s more like Siamese triplets….the Bush Government, the world economy and the McCain campaign. One has died, one is dying and the third is stumbling around carrying the dead weight. That’s what happens with the conjoined – you just can’t get away from your siblings. So there’s Macca dragging around a corpse (Bush) and a near corpse (the economy). We won’t mention those other albatrosses (oh yes we will) – the wars he says could last a hundred years or his VP pick from hell.
And as the world around him panicswhat does the Siamese Triplet do? I said it earlier – to counter this threat McCain will start seriously addressing the issues of concern to the electorate, thus re-establishing his credibility and restoring confidence in his ability to govern with wisdom and compassion. NAH! Chucking mud is easier. So while Grandpa and Minnie indulge in shadow mud wrestling, the markets take yet another dive and the people’s confidence in McCains ability to lead plummets. McCain’s answer? More mud! Even if it’s old mud – Ayers, Rezko & Wright. Some’s gotta stick, right?? Yep John – but it’s stickin’ to you!”
Over at Time Online Mike Murphy wrote
“Palin should drop the braying attacks on Obama’s aging hippie bomber pals and start connecting to her cherished hockey moms on the one issue they are actually worried about; a quickly slowing economy. Chuck the hacky and ineffective negative ads and switch to man on the street spots with real people voicing their real doubts about Obama; too weak to stand up to Washington’s mighty special interest cartel or the newly empowered Democratic bosses of the Congress and Senate, too liberal to know how to fix the economy, too inexperienced to handle a dangerous world. On Tuesday, McCain should look into the camera and connect to the 80 million scared and worried Americans who will be watching him.”
RCP’s Jay Cost disagrees. He thinks McCain’s only option is to keep throwing the mud. “One party’s vicious smear is the other’s vital truth. That’s just the way it is” he opines today.
Jay is wrong. A panicked America isn’t listening. They want comfort, they want assurance and they want answers. McCain isn’t giving any of it it so they’re dropping the old guy like a stone. Look at the numbers! The map is a mass of blue. Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico. Commenting on today’s polls 538’s Nate Silver says:
“Are John McCain’s negative attacks succeeding in eating into some of Barack Obama’s support? They certainly aren’t yet. In fact, Barack Obama has had perhaps his strongest individual polling day of the year…You can read these numbers as well as I can. Obama leads by 6 in North Carolina? 12 in Virginia? 7 in Florida? 3 in Missouri? Obviously, I am cherrypicking some of the more pro-Obama results here … but the point is, there are a lot of favourable results these days for Barack Obama.”
So if McCain looks tired and burdened going into the next debate. Sympathise. He’s carrying a lot of baggage. If he’s looking blue, it’s just the reflection of what’s going on all around him.