"My friends, we've got them just where we want them," Sen. John McCain said in a
revamped stump speech Monday.
Since Sen. Barack Obama has leads ranging from 4 to 11 percentage points in the
major polls, few conservative pundits share Sen. McCain's optimism.
Given the severity of the financial crisis, it's doubtful a Republican ticket headed
by Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan could prevail this November.
That most in the news media have abandoned all pretense of objectivity compounds
Sen. McCain's problems. Stories unflattering to Sen. McCain and his running mate are
hyped, while stories unflattering to Sen. Obama are downplayed.
For instance, most of us heard over the weekend that an investigator for the Alaska
legislature concluded that though Gov. Sarah Palin had the right to fire police
commissioner Walter Monegan, her motives were impure.
How many of you have heard that Illinois' attorney general is investigating a
$100,000 grant then state Sen. Barack Obama steered to a campaign volunteer for a
botanic garden that was never built? Or that the FBI last week raided the offices
of Larry Walsh, Will County (Ill) executive, a poker playing buddy of Barack Obama
when both served in the Illinois legislature, and to whom U.S. Sen. Obama steered
several millions of dollars of federal earmark spending? You probably would have if
Sen. Obama were a Republican.
Add in Sen. Obama's huge fund raising advantage and his strong performance in the
first two presidential debates, the amazing thing is Sen. McCain still has a chance
That chance will evaporate if economic turmoil continues. But if the stock and
credit markets stabilize and panic subsides, Sen. McCain still could prevail but
only if he elevates his game in the final debate Wednesday.
At the heart of the financial crisis were the reckless lending and corrupt
accounting practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two "government-sponsored
enterprises" which at one time controlled 90 percent of the secondary mortgage
market. In 2005, Sen. McCain was one of four GOP senators to propose stiffer
regulatory oversight of Fannie and Freddie which, if enacted, might have prevented
the meltdown. But Democrats blocked it.
Sen. Obama did nothing to create this crisis. But associates did. They include two
former Fannie Mae ceos; a former Fannie Mae vice chairman who is thought to be on
the short list for Attorney General, and the chairman of his finance committee, who
pioneered the suspect packaging of subprime mortgages at her now defunct Superior
bank in Chicago.
The radical group ACORN, better known for its fraudulent voter registration
activities, pushed hard for the risky loans that have torpedoed the economy. Sen.
Obama worked with ACORN when he was a community organizer, served for a time as its
lawyer in Chicago, and steered money to it when he served on the board of the Woods
Foundation and as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.
Sen. Obama has blamed the crisis on a Republican-sponsored bill in 1999 which erased
a bright line between investment and commercial banks. Robert Rubin, President
Clinton's first Treasury secretary, said that bill "had no impact, zero" on the
subprime crisis. President Clinton supported the measure, as did most House and
Senate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Biden. Yet when Sen. Obama repeated this
canard in the first two presidential debates, Sen. McCain let it pass without
Sen. McCain also has yet to challenge Sen. Obama to his face about his associations
with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers, corrupt financier Tony Rezko,
racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, ACORN, and others.
Sen. Obama is not guilty of crimes his associates may have committed. But that he
chose to associate with them says much about his judgment and worldview.
McCain can still win this election but only if he pins the tail on the donkey.