Week by week

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“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.”

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