September 17, 2008 at 12:59 am | Posted in '08 Campaign, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, McCain | 1 Comment
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The Wall Street meltdown wiped away any trace of the lipstick debate on the presidential race Monday, bringing the focus of both campaigns back to the fundamental issue this election: the economy.  

McCain’s rather bullish take on the financial crisis shifted momentum, allowing Obama to get back on offense after weeks of defending his record against Republican attacks.  In a moment that can only be described as profound senility, McCain declared proudly, “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Seizing McCain’s 50 yard, Hail Mary Pass, Obama immediately pounced on the comment, asking, “What economy is he talking about?” His campaign then unleashed a scathing new ad called “Fundamentals.”

McCain has since backed away from the statement, now repeating on the campaign trail and the “Today Show” Tuesday morning that the fundamentals of the economy are the hard workers of America, but it’s the top of economy that is broken.  It looks like McCain is redefining his “fundamentals” remark in the same way he has reinvented his record on the deregulation of Wall Street.  But little does Johnny Mac know that the damage has already been done and that one sentence could soon erase his short-lived post-convention Palin bounce. 

But, it’s not all smooth sailing for Obama from here.  Despite an economic climate seasoned for a Democratic victory, Barack Obama still faces his own fundamental problem on the economy: connecting with the voters.  After 9 months of the economy topping the list as the #1 concern to voters, Obama is still in search on how to seal the deal.  One key to unlocking an Obama victory is specifics. Rather than painting doomsday scenarios and making the transparently disingenuous “I feel your pain” overtures, Obama needs to get back to basics with specifics–specifying just how many Americans will benefit from his economic stimulus package, how many homes will be saved under his plan to regulate the housing industry or how many people will benefit under his tax plan.   Then, voters can get a picture of how their life will be different, they can visualize what “change” could look like, and see Barack Obama as the leader capable of taking them there.


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  1. I think he is finally connecting with women voters on the economy, especially when he’s talking kitchen table issues.

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