Obama must have been kicking himself for insisting Friday’s debate changed from the economy to foreign policy. Right now the polls are favouring Obama during the financial crisis, and Congress is at logger heads with the Presidents $700 billion rescue plan. One that would allow such future sums of money to be done by the Treasury Secretary without Congress deciding. Something may need doing, but that does not mean the power to scrutinize or hold people to account should not happen. It would also be good to ensure that there is something for the taxpayer rather than nationalising losses and bankers getting pay offs.
The economy is an issue which McCain looses to Obama on. He admitted before he secured the Republican nomination that economics was not his strong point. However, in a show of national leadership and bi partisanship, McCain suspended his campaign to return to Washington.
The worsening economic situation has seen voters increasingly turning to Obama as the candidate best able to lead the country through the crisis. A Washington Post/ABC News poll this morning showed Obama leading 52% to 43% among likely voters. The poll shows voters trust Obama more to handle the economy, 53% to 39%.
Both contenders are working out a joint statement on how they will handle the issue. However, Obama seems intent on going on campaigning while helping out in Washington, and that the debate is still happening Friday.
The action of McCain speaks louder than any policy either candidate has so far voiced on economic policy. At the very least, it is one that is easy to understand for the electorate. It could be an attempt to win votes, but then if politicians do that by taking action to solve a crisis then we may be inclined to say they are worthy of consideration for that.
It does look like it has caught Obama on the back foot, as McCain takes the lead. He looks like the senior Senator and that reminder may well mark out the contrast between him and Obama in the campaign. The official campaign may have stopped. The attempt to influence the voters of course is still business as usual.
It ain’t over till it’s over.