Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Suggestion for McCain

William Kristol wrote in the New York times that McCain should fire the campaign. Kristol states that McCain needs to reposition himself as a serious but cheerful candidate for times that need a serious but upbeat leader.

I agree. As noted below, one option for McCain is to focus on the "racial resistance among white voters" but that sounds too much like playing the race card. If McCain does that he would probably lose the election and his honor. So how can he fire the campaign and win.

He should give a speech that acknowledges that some have suggested that he focus on the "racial resistance among white voters." He could then categorically renounce the suggestion and instead say that henceforth he will campaign as serious but cheerful candidate. Further, because the country is so deeply partisanly divided, McCain should announce that if elected that he would ask Palin to step aside so that he (McCain) could nominate Obama as VP.

Another brilliant NBB solution, don't you think.

P.S. Yes, I realize that he might alienate some rabid Republi-cons, but I think McCain would rather lose with honor than win by focusing on the "racial resistance among white voters," which in my opinion would be dishonorable. If you think there is another way McCain can win, let's hear it.

UPDATE: An alternative strategy would be to focus solely on the 'split government is better government' argument. That is, government works better when one party doesn't control both the executive and legislative branches. In any case, McCain needs to do something.

Others are making suggestions. See Washington Post, What Could Change the Election? The Post asked John Podesta, Newt Gingrich, Mary Beth Cahill, Peter J. Wallison and Stuart E. Eizenstat what would be an election game-changer.

Is McCain's Only Chance 'Racial Resistance Among White Voters'

Is it too late for McCain? Read this article: New York Times, History Suggests McCain Faces an Uphill Battle, which concludes that history suggests that McCain has fallen too far behind, too late in the campaign, to overtake Obama. The final part of the article states:

Since 1948, front-running candidates have typically preserved three-fourths of their October leads, said Larry M. Bartels, a political scientist at Princeton. Applying statistical theory to current polls, he pegged Mr. Obama’s chance of winning the popular vote at “a little over 90 percent.”

Mr. Bartels noted three factors that might skew the results. Two of them, a potential surge in voter turnout and the tendency of undecided voters to punish the party holding the White House during an economic downturn, appear to favor Mr. Obama. The third, racial resistance among white voters, favors Mr. McCain.

Focus on White Voters

Ahead in once-reliably red states like Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Mr. Obama need not win any new voters. If he holds his 50 percent share in Gallup’s survey, and third-party candidates like Bob Barr and Ralph Nader draw 3 percent collectively, Mr. McCain can pull no closer than 47 percent.

The McCain campaign sees scant opportunity to erode Mr. Obama’s strong support among blacks and his two-to-one edge among Hispanics. But Mr. McCain’s strategists think that one in five white voters — roughly 15 percent of the electorate — remains open to persuasion.

The campaign says that those voters tend to be younger, single, less educated and female, and that they also include senior citizens distressed over sagging investments. Those voters are the target audience for Mr. McCain’s recent attacks on Mr. Obama’s ties to William Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground.

If one-third of those voters shift allegiance from Mr. Obama to Mr. McCain, they will produce a 10-percentage-point swing, wiping out Mr. Obama’s lead. Mr. Obama’s strategists say voter preferences have hardened enough to make that difficult.

Mr. McCain’s assessment of whether it is possible may influence his campaign’s efforts to assail Mr. Obama’s character. Facing heavy criticism, Mr. McCain late last week turned ambivalent."

Is the suggestion to focus on the "racial resistance among white voters" the same as playing the race card?

And if McCain focuses on the "racial resistance among white voters," will it do more harm than good for McCain and the country?

If so, then it is lose - lose for McCain.

This Guy Should Be Treasury Secretary

Another great post about the economic mess by Barry Ritholtz. From his latest post, Goal: Increase Minority Homeowners by 5.5 Million in a Decade:

Guess who's goal this was? You might be surprised:

"More and more people own their homes in America today. Two-thirds of all Americans own their homes, yet we have a problem here in America because few than half of the Hispanics and half the African Americans own the home. That's a home ownership gap. It's a -- it's a gap that we've got to work together to close for the good of our country, for the sake of a more hopeful future. We've got to work to knock down the barriers that have created a home ownership gap.

I set an ambitious goal. It's one that I believe we can achieve. It's a clear goal, that by the end of this decade we'll increase the number of minority homeowners by at least 5.5 million families . . .

Home ownership is also an important part of our economic vitality. If -- when we meet this project, this goal, according to our Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we will have added an additional $256 billion to the economy by encouraging 5.5 million new home owners in America; the activity -- the economic activity stimulated with the additional purchasers, the additional buyers, the additional demand will be upwards of $256 billion. And that's important because it will help people find work."

- George W. Bush, U.S. President, October 15, 2002 1:55 P.M.

And Ritholtz argues again:

"As a mortgage salesman, you only lose your a fee if a borrower defaults within 3 or 6 months. What do you do to maximize your returns? The best way to do that -- to put people in houses that would not default in 90 days -- was the 2/28 ARM mortgages. Cheap teaser rates for 24 months, then the big reset. By then, it was no longer your problem.

Can you grasp what a monumental change this was? Instead of making sure that borrowers could pay back ALL OF THE 30 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE, you only had to find people who could afford the teaser rate for a a few months. THIS WAS AN ENORMOUS AND UNPRECEDENTED SHIFT IN LENDING.

This is the key to the hosuing boom and bust, anbd ultimately underlies the entire credit freeze. And, it would not have been possible without the Greenspan ultra-low rates, which made the teaser portion (the "2" of the 2/28) of these mortgages so attractive.


Those who continue to blame the CRA, Fannie Mae, etc. reveal their fundamental misunderstanding of how credit operates in general, what the financing process was like from 2002-07, and how this situation came to pass. Or worse, they understand it, and choose to lie about it anyway for partisan political purposes.

You either understand these simple facts, or you don't. If you cannot comprehend this, well, then, I am at a loss as to what that says about your cognitive functioning. But if you understand this, but spit out the nonsense anyway, then you are merely a partisan with no respect for the truth.

And that seems to be the main people blaming the CRA and Fannie/Freddie for the credit/housing crisis -- those folks who either can't think -- or wont.

Is Joe Roberts Having a Meltdown

Joe Roberts went from being the Democrat candidate for U.S. Representative, House District 1 in Florida, to being an independent wondering what he should do next in his quest for elected office, to losing as a Republican in the Florida House of Representatives, District 2 race -- all in one year.

Quite an accomplishment. Now he seems to be having a meltdown of sorts, ranting about conspiracies. See Rick's Blog, Joe Roberts on meltdown.

Did he get bitten by some rabid Republi-con?

This Man is a Republi-con

Tim Mahoney, the Democrat who succeeded Mark Foley after he resigned because of a sex scandal, is now embroiled in a sex scandal of his own. See New York Times, Sex Scandal Shakes Race for Congress in Florida.

In a January 20 telephone call that was recorded and played for his employees (what was he thinking) Mahoney told the woman:

"You work at my pleasure, if you do the job that I think you should do, you get to keep your job. Whenever I don’t feel like you’re doing your job, then you lose your job. And guess what: The only person that matters is guess who? Me."

While it might seem funny, 'she works for his pleasure and does the job he wants,' it sounds like he was coercing her for sex. If so, he should be charged with rape, extortion, whatever. He shouldn't be allowed to just resign like Foley.

Republi-con BS on Government Regulations

We've all heard the Republi-con BS on less government regulation. See this graph, New York Times, Regulatory Spending, by Administration, and let's talk about who favors more government control.

Republi-cons also hurt the bottom line, profit. See New York Times, Bulls, Bears, Donkeys and Elephants, which states:

"Since 1929, Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40 years. So which party has been better for American pocketbooks and capitalism as a whole? Well, here’s an experiment: imagine that during these years you had to invest exclusively under either Democratic or Republican administrations. How would you have fared?

As of Friday, a $10,000 investment in the S.& P. stock market index* would have grown to $11,733 if invested under Republican presidents only, although that would be $51,211 if we exclude Herbert Hoover’s presidency during the Great Depression. Invested under Democratic presidents only, $10,000 would have grown to $300,671 at a compound rate of 8.9 percent over nearly 40 years."

The article includes a nice graph the Obama campaign should run in an ad.

Republi-con Fear, Anger, and Hatred

More about the Republi-con strategy of fear, anger, and hatred. Read Washington Post, McCain and the Raging Right.