“What is John McCain thinking?” John Fund asks at www.opinionjournal.com.
“First, Mr. McCain takes a wild swing by saying as president he would have fired Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, for ‘betraying the public trust.’ It turns out a president doesn’t have the statutory authority to do that, and Mr. Cox has been a political asset in dealing with the financial meltdown of last week. Indeed, the day after his call for Mr. Cox’s firing, Mr. McCain retreated and called him ‘a good man,’ ” Mr. Fund said.
“Now Mr. McCain has compounded his error by floating the name of Andrew Cuomo, the pugilistic Democratic New York attorney general, as his possible nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. McCain told CBS’s ‘60 Minutes’ that Mr. Cuomo had ‘respect’ and ‘prestige,’ praising his tenure as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration.
“Mr. McCain must be looking at a different record than I am. Mr. Cuomo was a political grandstander at HUD, ranging far afield to file frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers. He also spent taxpayer money to hire such firms as Booz Allen Hamilton, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young to paper over [foul-ups] at his agency.
“Among the problems created by Mr. Cuomo while at HUD were what the liberal Village Voice called last month ‘a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country’s current crisis.’
“A Voice investigation found that Mr. Cuomo ‘took actions that — in combination with many other factors — helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded “kickbacks” to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why.’ ”
New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo was cited by Sen. John McCain as a possible chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, leaving conservatives and even some liberals puzzled.