Let’s be honest here, John McCain did not have a good week.
The average American citizen doesn’t understand what happened this past week in the financial markets or on Wall Street. What they do hear, is people like Chris Matthews telling them their money may not be safe in financial institutions and that this current crisis resembles the Great Depression.
Americans are scared.
They don’t care about who is to blame or that Obama took money from Freddie and Fannie – they need to hear from our “leaders” that their money is safe and that we are not headed for a catastrophic depression. President Bush didn’t offer that calm, reassuring tone yesterday nor did Barack Obama.
Senator McCain had an opportunity to be that calming voice and to step out front and demonstrate the kind of strong, decisive leadership that truly great presidents are made of. Instead, he opted for playing the blame game that Americans are getting tired of.
Barring any new unforseen major event (terrorist hits, etc.) this issue will dominate the last 43 days of this election. The candidate that can best convince voters that they understand the problem and have real solutions for dealing with it will win the election. It’s that simple.
I strongly urge the McCain camp to back off the blame game – at least for the next week or two. Wait until the crisis has been stabilized and fears have been calmed before blasting Obama and the Democrats for their complicity in bringing about the death of free markets and capitalism in this nation.
In the mean time, Senator McCain needs to be presented to the American people as one who has command of this crisis, who appears truly presidential, and as one who exudes confidence, decisiveness, and the kind of leadership attributes that set him apart from his opponent.