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September 17, 2008

WaPo Beclowns Itself (Again); Gallup Rasmussen Has McCain Over Obama on Economic Issues

The Washington Post continues its descent into hackery with this morning's front page story hit piece on John McCain. It turns out that sometimes he is for government regulation and sometimes against and that his opinion may change depending on the industries involved. It also is the case that his opinion changes over the span of a decade. More on this shocking news:

A decade ago, Sen. John McCain embraced legislation to broadly deregulate the banking and insurance industries, helping to sweep aside a thicket of rules established over decades in favor of a less restricted financial marketplace that proponents said would result in greater economic growth.

Now, as the Bush administration scrambles to prevent the collapse of the American International Group (AIG), the nation's largest insurance company, and stabilize a tumultuous Wall Street, the Republican presidential nominee is scrambling to recast himself as a champion of regulation to end "reckless conduct, corruption and unbridled greed" on Wall Street.

The WaPo repeats Democratic talking points about the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which partially deregulated the financial services industry. Blame is laid squarely on McCain for cosponsoring the bill, but Michael Shear fails to mention that it eventually passed the Senate 90-8 and the House 362-57. President Clinton signed it. Democratic notables who voted for it include Reps Nancy Pelosi and Robert Wexler and Senators Harry Reid and Chris Dodd.

A few things have changed in the economy over the past decade that may have prompted McCain to make concomitant changes in position. Only an idiot would say after observing the mortgage meltdown and this weekend's mini-crisis that there's no problem and we should continue on as before.

Note that Democrats aren't insisting that we do nothing. Rather, they want to get credit for the same old populist shtick they bring out every time "plain old folks" get taken by "eeevil businesses." Republicans are supposed to be easily cast as corporate stooges. Unfortunately, John "The Fargin' Maverick" McCain never fit that description. They are especially pissed that McCain has appropriated their usually strong position on economic issues.

McCain leads 58% to 38% among those who regularly shop at Wal-Mart while Obama leads 61% to 36% among those who don’t frequent the retail giant. Overall, Obama leads among those who earn less than $40,000 a year while McCain leads among those with higher earnings. Among white voters, Obama has the edge only among those who earn less than $20,000 a year and his advantage among those lower income white voters is just four percentage points.

Investor confidence has stabilized—at least for the moment–after falling sharply for several days. The economic confidence of those who do not invest was not shaken by the Wall Street events of recent days. As for the political implications, polling conducted last night shows that 47% trust McCain more than Obama on economic issues while 45% trust Obama.

And it's only Monday. The McCain camp needs to run some ads reminding people how much money Obama took from Frannie and Freddie. He'll look like a real hero of the people with his hand in the cookie jar.

Well, well, well: McCain tried to do something about Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2005. What happened? Chris Dodd, who received the most political contributions from the two quasi-governmental mortgage buyers, kept McCain's reform bill from getting out of committee.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:35 AM

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