Barack Obama and John McCain go toe to toe tonight in a town hall debate in Nashville, Tennesse. New York has a complete wrap of what the web’s pundits are saying. The majority of political observers believe that McCain needs to do something–something big–to sway momentum to his side, which is why McCain is “taking off the gloves” tonight in Nashville. But is it wise to swing at Obama?
As our brethren at Silicon Alley Insider have closely tracked, McCain’s chances of becoming president are in freefall. McCain’s new strategy to stave off his flagging popularity, is to smear Obama by telling the public he’s friendly with a former domestic terrorist and other incorrigible folks. Pundits are almost universally panning McCain’s strategy.
Rather than hit Obama, why didn’t John McCain keep hitting Christopher Cox, the SEC chairman? On September 18th, McCain said, “If I were president today, I would fire [Cox].” His handlers then went on to say they were going to spend the next few days discussing the markets and opening an aggressive debate with Obama. What happened? Since he made this announcement, the economy has deteriorated, and few seem to think McCain has adequately address the economy.
Of course, the President can’t fire Cox, but if McCain had continued to smack the SEC, he’d look like a pretty smart guy. Increasingly (or at least in the past week) the SEC is getting blamed for a bunch of the economy’s problems. Rather than McCain being the guy that thinks, “the fundamentals of the economy are sound,” he could be the guy with a shrewd eye for regulatory failings. Instead of smearing Obama tonight, he could be saying, I quickly realised that the SEC was asleep at the wheel and almost a month ago I called for Cox’s head. But, it’s too late for that. McCain will continue to slide off the map because he missed a chance to jump ahead on the economy.
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