Monday, September 29, 2008

Candidates vie for credit over bail-out.

As news begins to trickle out about a possible $700 billion deal to rescue Wall Street it is inevitable that both candidates in the election are going to try and put their spin on things.


"It is an outrage - an outrage - that we are now being forced to clean up their mess. But we have no choice," Obama told a rally in Detroit. "This administration started off by asking for a blank cheque to solve this problem. I said absolutely not. That's why I laid out a few a conditions for Washington when this began."

Earlier, the Democrat told CBS television he had daily phone conversations with Hank Paulson, the treasury secretary, as well as congressional leaders. Obama also took credit for proposals by fellow Democrats that added protection for families in danger of losing their homes and limited pay packages for Wall Street executives to the plan.

"None of those were in the president's provisions. They are identical to the things I called for," he told CBS. "That I think is an indication of the degree to which when it comes to protecting taxpayers, I was pushing very hard and involved in shaping those provisions." He went on to attack McCain, who suspended his campaign last week ostensibly to help steer through a bail-out deal. Asked whether the Republican had been helpful, Obama replied: "No".

Now we all know that McCain made a great deal out of suspending his campaign to fly off to Washington and that, whilst there, he sat silent for forty minutes and then introduced a plan which effectively wrecked the negotiation process. You won't be surprised to hear that this is not how John's camp are spinning it.

After last week's drama , which saw the deal unravelling with McCain's arrival in Washington on Thursday, the Republican has been on the defensive against charges that he tried to exploit the crisis for political gain. He has also been trying to distance himself from his record in the Senate as a supporter of deregulation of the financial industry.

His camp pushed back hard against those charges yesterday, with Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, telling Fox TV that McCain had been crucial in engaging House Republicans on the bail-out. "I think it was decisive in regards to the house getting involved," said Graham.

However, even McCain - who has so far proven that he is not above telling straight out porkies - couldn't go as far as Graham in distorting what actually occurred.
McCain, in his TV interview, did not claim credit for the deal. But he denied charges that he was a spoiler, telling ABC television: "It wasn't because of me that the Republicans in the House of Representatives got into the negotiating and bargaining. They did it themselves."
He did however make one hysterical charge:
In a speech delivered by satellite to a hunters' convention in Ohio, he also turned the tables on the Democrats, accusing Obama of trying to use the credit crisis for political gain.
Isn't that wonderful? The man who dramatically suspended his campaign to rush off to Washington, whilst threatening to postpone the presidential debate in an attempt to stop the rot that this whole crisis had visited upon his campaign, is accusing Obama of using McCain's proven incompetence on this issue to his advantage.

How dare Obama do this during an election? Why can't he pretend that he is as incompetent as McCain is when it comes to economics?

McCain's anger is however totally understandable. Two weeks ago he was enjoying a small lead in the polls brought about by the Palin bounce. However, the past fortnight has been a daily disaster with McCain scrambling to appear on top of an ever changing economic landscape that he blatantly didn't understand. He tried grandstanding but everything he attempted only made his own situation worse.

He has now revealed himself as a reckless gambler, as a guy who will literally do anything for short term gain. It's a trait we witnessed with the hiring of Palin and that we saw repeated with the suspension of his campaign.

He's obsessed with gimmicks, with being seen to be doing something, anything.

The $700 billion bailout deal might take the economic card off the table for a while, which would suit McCain enormously. When people said that economics weren't his thing I think few of us were prepared for just how true that was to prove.

The overwhelming image left after the last fortnight is of a calm Obama - some have argued too calm - reacting in a measured way to an escalating crisis whilst John McCain ran around with his head on fire shouting, "Turkey-Lurkey the sky is falling, the sky is falling".

Lindsey Graham and Steve Schmidt and others can spin this as much as they like, but we all know what we saw.

Click title for full article.

No comments: