“the incredible shrinking man”
October 13, 2008 1 Comment
Zing. From Editor & Publisher on October 12, 2008:
Barack Obama picked up at least 16 newspaper endorsements this weekend, including six in swing states Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri. John McCain, as far as we know, gained just two.
The Wisconsin State Journal and The Sun of San Bernardino had backed Bush in 2004. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called Obama’s opponent, John McCain, “the incredible shrinking man” who had made a horrific pick for his running mate.
Could the economy have something to do with it?
From the Huffington Post on October 13, 2008:
… on Saturday, his campaign leaked word to Politico that he would be introducing a bold new economic agenda on Monday.
And yet, as soon as the Senator began leaving behind last week’s shadows, he stepped right back into the internal confusion and mixed messaging that has haunted his presidential run to this point.
Late Sunday evening word emerged from McCain headquarters that, in fact, there would be no bold new economic proposal to throw on the table.
“We do not have any immediate plans to announce any policy proposals outside of the proposals that John McCain has announced, and the certain proposals that would result as economic news continues to come our way,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.
From the Associated Press on October 13, 2008:
Paul Krugman, the Princeton University scholar and New York Times columnist, won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for his analysis of how economies of scale can affect trade patterns and the location of economic activity.
… He has come out forcefully against John McCain during the economic meltdown, saying the Republican candidate is “more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago” and earlier that the GOP has become “the party of stupid.”
… In contrast to his treatment of U.S. financial officials, Krugman has praised leaders in Britain for their response to the global financial crisis.
In an Oct. 13 column in the New York Times, Krugman wrote that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling “defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up.”
… “And whaddya know,” Krugman continued, “Mr. Paulson – after arguably wasting several precious weeks – has also reversed course, and now plans to buy equity stakes rather than bad mortgage securities.”
As the economy worsens and Election Day approaches, a conservative campaign that blames the global financial crisis on a government push to make housing more affordable to lower-class Americans has taken off on talk radio and e-mail.
Commentators say that’s what triggered the stock market meltdown and the freeze on credit. They’ve specifically targeted the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the federal government seized on Sept. 6, contending that lending to poor and minority Americans caused Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial problems.
Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren’t true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis.
From the Kansas City Star on October 10, 2008:
Minutes into Tuesday’s debate, John McCain was calling the failure of [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,] the two federally chartered mortgage giants “the match that started this forest fire.”
The Republican accused Barack Obama of taking a hike while McCain and other lawmakers pushed for reform in 2005. McCain’s ads, meanwhile, try to tar the Democrat with associations with Fannie’s ex-CEOs.
Obama was ready.
“Let’s, first of all, understand that the biggest problem in this whole process was the deregulation of the financial system,” he said, and then noted how McCain “bragged about the fact that he is a deregulator.”
Another touche was on McCain’s campaign manager’s lobbying firm getting Freddie Mac money — $15,000 a month almost until the government takeover.
McCain did warn us about this…
update: The Associated Press reports on October 13, 2008 that Barack Obama has announced additional economic policies:
Democrat Barack Obama is calling for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and a two-year tax break for businesses that create jobs as part of a plan to heal the nation’s ailing economy.
The presidential candidate says banks that participate in the federal bailout should temporarily postpone foreclosures for families making good-faith efforts to pay their mortgage.
He also called for a $3,000 tax credit for each additional full-time job a business creates. The tax break would end after 2010.
Obama also is proposing letting people withdraw up to $10,000 from their retirement accounts without any penalty this year and next.
The Obama campaign emphasizes that these ideas can be done quickly, either through executive order or legislation.
update: CBS reports on October 13, 2008 that McCain has a new speech:
“The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and Senator (Harry) Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them,” McCain planned to tell supporters, according to speech excerpts provided by the campaign.
In fact, Obama has proposed tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 …