Week by week
“Several weeks ago, I wrote in this space that a campaign needs to win most of the remaining weeks in order to be successful in winning an election. I compared it to fighters winning the rounds in order to win the fight,” Ed Rollins writes at www.cnn.com.
“In the period since the Republican convention, Gov. Sarah Palin won the ‘weeks’ for her team. She dominated the media. She moved poll numbers favorably, and her addition created an energy that could be seen in the large crowds. There was a new enthusiasm among the Republican base,” Mr. Rollins said.
“In the midst of the financial crisis [this month], it was John McCain’s turn to pick up the ball and run with it. He didn’t do it very well. He used the Bush ad- ministration talking points on [Sept. 15]: The ‘all the fundamentals are fine’ speech! It was perceived as a disaster.
“Barack Obama’s response wasn’t much better. He took no position but jumped on McCain for saying things were OK. On [Sept. 16], McCain switched positions from ‘no bailouts’ to ‘bailouts are needed.’ Obama still took no position.
“His running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, said rich Americans should be patriotic and pay more taxes. A more idiotic statement has never been uttered! But then he also said [two weeks ago] that people in financial trouble should be able to renegotiate their interest and the principal on their housing loans. The idea of renegotiating how much you borrowed is a novel approach that should thrill the banks.
“By [Sept. 19], McCain was back against bailouts. Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wanted to bail out everybody with taxpayers’ money. (How about all the guys who lost on the first two weeks of the football season?)
“Obama’s position was: I think I am going to support Paulson’s bailout, but I am going to wait and see what Bush and the Congress propose before I offer my solutions.
“There were no profiles in courage [. . . ] from the political campaigns. And maybe a rush to judgment wasn’t the best course either. But the political terrain has changed.”