Here is where we are now in the presidential race:The McCain-Palin post-convention “bounce” has ended. This was predictable and inevitable as gravity always ends any bounce.The Palin effect, that explosive, exuberant excitement that a new and attractive political figure brought to the political table, is wearing off. It seems more exposure to her through the campaign and even the Charlie Gibson ABC interview has started to erode her polling numbers; the new New York Times/CBS poll shows a one-week decline in her “readiness to be vice president."The National Enquirer continues to write about Sarah Palin; more people read that magazine each week than Time and Newsweek combined. For the third week in a row, the Enquirer has hammered the governor for an alleged adulterous affair and other dysfunctional family issues; these stories do tend to bleed into some voters’ minds.Obama’s campaign has gotten off their high horse and finally realized that they might lose an election that was teed up for a Democrat to win this year. They have stopped the empty, lofty, useless rhetoric and gone on the attack against John McCain. They have started hammering McCain on his lack of economic experience. They have also realized that Palin can and will sink or swim on her own, and they don’t need to attack her.
Now the earth-shattering financial crisis: What does McCain have to say? Forgetting that he is not yet the president, McCain tries to reassure a jittery electorate by saying, “the fundamentals of the economy are good.” True or not, the public does not believe that, and by saying it, McCain seems out of touch.
The McCain Camp soon realized their candidate’s mistake and tried to correct it.
Now, here is the rub: the ending of McCain’s bounce, empirically seen in a number of polls including Zogby, Rasmussen, CNN, New York Times/CBS, happened before the latest bad financial news hit. So what we need to look for now is whether the fear that our economy is teetering on an even bigger collapse helps or hurts either presidential candidate.
Many suspect this fear will help Obama, as the candidate of the "out" party, and hurt McCain who, hard as he may deny it, is inextricably tied to Bush.
Neither Obama nor McCain have a clue about business or economics or markets; instead, both candidates just want to be inside government all their lives in one capacity or the other. Neither candidate has a coherent worldview, like Ronald Reagan, who saw the interconnection between all things: economics, the role of government, business, trade, defense, and foreign policy.
One of these candidates ought to realize the proper role of government in overseeing the economy: to be a referee who says what an industry cannot do; but not to be telling an industry what to do; this is not a narrow distinction.
Overall, whatever momentum exists in this race has (slightly) switched from McCain back to Obama. It may very well switch again in the 6 ½ weeks we have left.
The Sept. 26 presidential debate will be a possible turning point.
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