The economy, smart guy


I don’t like calling people stupid.

The famous third leg of the 1992 Clinton message triangle, “It’s the economy, stupid,” was intended not just to remind the first President Bush about what was on people’s minds at the time.  It was also a helpful reminder to EVERY one associated with the Clinton campaign that no matter what question they were asked, they should always pivot it back to the economy.

Well, we’re right back there again and it’s helpful for news outlets to continue hammering away.

So I raise my glass to Politico which finally wrote a story about policy instead of process with: Candidates starkly divided on economy.

Though the piece spends a little too much time talking about the teams of economic experts that both campaigns have assembled, if you stare hard enough you can get a grain of the fundamental differences between Obama and McCain:

Obama sees an economy fraught with peril and would press immediately for a new economic stimulus package to help state governments, ease energy costs and steady the market in the short term.

His roots as a community activist in Chicago are woven throughout his long-term economic agenda, which calls for an activist government bent on providing a broader safety net and empowerment for the working class.

There’s some gobbledy-guk in there from Obama’s chief economic adviser about growing the economy from the bottom up.

On McCain:

McCain’s economic team is an eclectic mix of leading thinkers from both ends of the Republican economic spectrum. They range from Jack Kemp, a supply-side advocate with some tolerance for deficits, to former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.), a famed deficit hawk who could tolerate some tax increases.

Holtz-Eakin said he intentionally drafted a wide range of thinkers so McCain would be exposed to a full menu of ideas. Critics argue, however, that McCain has simply adopted the top priority of each side — seeking both huge tax cuts and promising a balanced budget — and created an economic message that’s difficult to defend, given the financial challenges the dual goals would create.

Voters may actually be starting to pick up on the differences in the two candidates on this crucial issue.  The latest NYT/CBS poll shows that by a 51-31 margin, voters think that the “Democratic Party” is more likely than the “Republican Party” to ensure a strong economy.  Though down from the 56-28 margin of last April, it continues the trend of favorability towards the Democratic Party that reverses feelings from the late 80s and early to mid 90s.

So yes.  It’s the economy, smart guy.

Anyway, before I get too high in my praise for the good, policy-oriented work of Politico, they reminded me of how they’re hurting America with: McCain’s humor often backfires.  Good stuff, guys.


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One Response to “The economy, smart guy”

  1. ajnone Says:

    Seven years ago I would have put economic growth on any Republican administration over any Democratic administration in spite of the roaring 90s and it’s pursuant crash. Today I have to hope for the possibility that an Obama administration will get the economy right even though his candidacy springs from South Chicago.

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