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 September, 2008


 John McCain's Economy Blindspot

The Bounce That Didn’t Keep Bouncing
By Al Owens

Let me get this straight. The president and congress are mulling a plan that would take $700 billion dollars from the folks on Main Street, and give them to the folks on Wall Street. And that’s supposed to help the people on Main Street?
I’m no economist, but isn’t too much unaccounted for Wall Street money the reason we’re in this mess?
It’s like the used car salesman who tells a customer that he’s boosting the price of a junker because the more you pay the better it’ll run.

The inner workings of the economy aren’t nearly as easy to fathom as the dropping John McCain index.
Since the Dow Jones Industrials started to tank, not surprisingly, so have McCain’s poll numbers.
He didn’t help matters much when he announced, for the umpteenth time, “the fundamentals of the economy are sound,” on the very same day the Dow took an historic plunge.

But even before that curious statement, it had become clear that Sarah Palin’s reupholstering of McCain’s foundering campaign wasn’t going to last.
For starters, despite all of those conservative pundits who’d claimed she’d been “a game changer” only minutes after she’d been chosen as McCain’s running mate, truth easily got in the way.
She’d made numerous claims about herself that fact-checkers would later discover didn’t stand up under any scrutiny.

To boost her foreign policy credentials, for example, Palin said she’d been to Ireland.
Unfortunately, she’d only been there for a refueling stop. As far as she knows, the entire country looks like an airport.
She’d also been to Iraq. Well, she’d really been at the border between Kuwait and Iraq in 2007. She got permission to only go a quarter of a mile inside of Iraq.

I guess she considers that a fact-finding mission. I’ve seen the Wizard of Oz. That makes me an expert on space flight, tornados, farms, lions, scarecrows, midgets, flying monkeys, witches (good and bad) and guys dressed up in metal clothes.

She’d claimed the teleprompter had broken the night she gave her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. Eyewitnesses say the teleprompter was working just fine.

She’s currently under an ongoing ethics investigation that has caused McCain campaign operatives to fly to Alaska to head off what could be an embarrassing result.

She’d been chosen to help siphon off disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters. That has never materialized. She has, more than anything, alienated many women who simply don’t share her ultra-conservative views.

In Alaska, even members of Palin’s own party are questioning why she’d been chosen in the first place. The Republican head of the Alaska State Senate, Lyda Green recently asked, "She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

So, while McCain’s post-convention bounce lasted longer than Barack Obama’s had, McCain is looking desperate again.

He’s been rolling out daily negative (and sometimes dishonest) attack ads.

He, and his campaign disciples, spent two days trying to convince voters that Obama is the devil incarnate, because he used the words, “lipstick and pig,” in the same sentence - even though McCain had used the same words on numerous occasions himself.

So when a serious matter, like the failing economy, came along – McCain’s claim that Obama had been at the root of it, produced belly laughs among those people who’d seen that kind of thing before.

In fact, Obama used McCain’s words against him. How, he asked, could he be so inexperienced, yet so singularly powerful that he caused the stock market to collapse?

It’s no wonder that Obama’s poll numbers have nearly returned to pre-Palin levels.

That’s not to say they’ll stay that way. With more than a month before the voters speak, there are sure to be new developments that will cause the poll numbers to ripple.

There’s always a chance Sarah Palin will claim she’s found the cure for cancer. On the same day, John McCain will claim Obama invented it.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net