Sunday, October 05, 2008

Why is McCain wobbly on Freddie & Fannie?

A blog friend’s email included:

ACORN [and Dem supported special interest groups have played a big part in helping create ] the financial crisis. The MSM will not report on this or Obama's close connections to ACORN.

McCain needs to start talking about this connection and Obama's relationships with other nefarious organizations/individuals. [Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Maxine Waters, Tony Rezko and Chuck Schumer, to name just a few.]...

McCain has been too cautious and respectful. He missed a real opportunity with the bailout fiasco and it hurt him. He needs to take off the gloves and start exposing Obama and his policies for what they are. …

My friend’s comments are an example of the public reaction of millions to Sen. McCain’s wobbly response to the failure of Dems to step up and acknowledge their lead role in creating the current mortgage mess.

U. S. News & World Report’s James Pethokoukis has more to say - - -

Here is the big question of the moment that many GOPers are asking: Why is John McCain not tearing into Barack Obama and the Dems on the huge role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Community Reinvestment Act in the financial crisis on Wall Street? In fact, the biggest criticism by conservatives of Sarah Palin's debate performance last night was that she had the opportunity to talk about Fannie/Freddie and the CRA but instead criticized the role of "predatory lenders."

Here is what Team McCain is telling me: Expect McCain to make the case on television, but don't look for him to turn to Obama in the next debate, point his finger, and say something like this (courtesy of the Ace of Spades HQ blog):

I stayed away from making these partisan attacks, even though you lied ridiculously about me and your own attempts at 'reform.' I held back, because partisan attacks—even truthful ones—would harm our country and reduce the chances of getting a vital bill passed. Well, the bill is now passed. I put country first. You didn't, and you lied on top of that. And now—only now that this crisis has been dealt with, to the extent we can—I'm going to give you a bit of straight-talk about Fannie, Freddie, my attempts to reform it, and your attempts to block reform on behalf of your big donors and friends in ACORN.

Nope, that is not going to happen. Why not?

1) It is a complicated argument, and McCain is not good at making complicated arguments, not even about earmarks. (Note, additionally, his lack of defense of the war in Iraq during his debate with Obama. Amazing.)

2) There is a racial component to criticism of the Community Reinvestment Act that can make it sound like you are scapegoating minorities for Wall Street's problems.

3) The campaign believes McCain's time is better spent talking about taxes and energy and healthcare. Really. …

My bottom line: The McCain campaign is underestimating how absolutely furious conservatives are that free markets, and by extension Reaganomics and the last 25 years of American economic policy, are getting the blame for the housing and credit crisis. A real morale killer, they tell me. Over and over. Every day.

Pethokoukis’ entire article’s here.


McCain needs to connect with the vast majority of American’s who are paying their mortgages on time (that’s 95+% of us).

He can connect by helping people understand the current financial problems aren’t primarily the fault of Wall Street. They’re the result of federal laws and regulations that pushed banks to make “subprime” (“high risk” is really the right term) mortgages to unqualified lenders. They’re the result of a failure of government oversight.

Dems and the MSM will certainly accuse McCain of playing the race card. But they do that even when he says nothing about race. Remember in June Obama in Jacksonville “warning” us that the GOP was going to play the race card? It hadn't happened but what did that matter?

A TIME reporter claimed McCain was playing the race card when his campaign produced ads pointing out the “rip the taxpayer” leadership of Obama advisors Jim Johnson (white) and Franklin Raines (black) when they headed respectively Freddie and Fannie, because McCain ran the Raines ad a few hours before he began running the Johnson ad.

Welcome to Obama’s America where any deviation from worship of The One gets you slapped with a race card.

McCain does himself no favors and much harm by being wobbly on Freddie and Fannie.

If he can’t speak forcefully and clearly on this mess, how will he lead us as President?