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Why McCain Needed an Extension on His Economics Assignment

September 25th, 2008 . by economistmom

To pick up where I left off last night, if you’re wondering why Senator McCain decided to take a “time out” from the campaign, or as I prefer to think of it, ask for an extension on the due date of his “economics assignment,” fortunately his VP, Sarah Palin, clarified it for us in her interview with Katie Couric yesterday (here is the video)… No emphasis needed:

Next, Couric asked about the $700 billion government bailout of bad debt - and whether she supports it.

Palin: I’m all about the position that America is in and that we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. And as Sen. McCain has said unless this nearly trillion dollar bailout is what it may end up to be, unless there are amendments in Paulson’s proposal, really I don’t believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this. The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They’re not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this and see what way the political wind’s blowing? They’re waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson’s proposal.

Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?

Palin: He’s got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that’s needed at a crisis time like this.

Couric: But polls have shown that Sen. Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis, with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain.

Palin: I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?

Couric: If this doesn’t pass, do you think there’s a risk of another Great Depression?

Palin: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it’s been proposed, has to pass or we’re going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action - bipartisan effort - Congress not pointing fingers at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.

Couric: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?

Palin: That’s something that John McCain and I have both been discussing - whether that … is part of the solution or not. You know, it’s going to be a multi-faceted solution that has to be found here.

Couric: So you haven’t decided whether you’ll support it or not?

Palin: I have not.

Couric: What are the pros and cons of it do you think?

Palin: Oh, well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded, of course.

Couric: By consumers, you’re saying?

Palin: Consumers - and those who were predator lenders also. That’s, you know, that has to be considered also. But again, it’s got to be a comprehensive, long-term solution found … for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here.

Couric: You’ve said, quote, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie - that, that’s paramount. That’s more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

Couric: But he’s been in Congress for 26 years. He’s been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

Palin: He’s also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he’s been talking about - the need to reform government.

Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you’ve said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

Couric: I’m just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

Palin: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

4 Responses to “Why McCain Needed an Extension on His Economics Assignment”

  1. comment number 1 by: John Bailey

    Hammering McCain would be a lot more credible if you had an answer, let alone Obama, Bernanke, Paulsen, et. al.

    Explain the situation, outline the optimal plan, outline the risks and rewards of your plan.

    Explain how this situation will phase into the funding problems that the government faces with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    If you have your economic homework complete, then go ahead and publish it.

  2. comment number 2 by: Bill Greenlaw

    Your statement about John McCain’s decision to focus on the current crisis instead of the debate: “or as I prefer to think of it, ask for an extension on the due date of his “economics assignment,”” would be a fair shot, except, Friday’s debate was supposed to be a debate on foreign policy. Unless you have inside news from McCain, there has been no news of rescheduling the domestic policy debate.
    First Presidential Debate: September 26 – Topic: Foreign Policy & National Security – Staging: Podium debate – Answer Format: The debate will be broken into nine, 9-minute segments. The moderator will introduce a topic and allow each candidate 2 minutes to comment. After these initial answers, the moderator will facilitate an open discussion of the topic for the remaining 5 minutes, ensuring that both candidates receive an equal amount of time to comment.

    The third, and final, Presidential debate will have the same format as the first, but will focus on Domestic and Economic Issues and was not scheduled until October 15.

    There are many other subjects that could have been discussed today, your premise is wrong, and your post does little to help understand the issues that confront us. I like Joe Biden, but it is pretty easy to find some wild statements that he has made on whatever subject you want to talk about. Easy, but useless.

    Both parties have been content to run high deficits and ignore the inevitable. A true change in direction can only happen through bipartisan efforts. Cheap shots (by you, not Couric) do nothing to elevate the dialog.

  3. comment number 3 by: Andrew Biggs

    It seems to me the closing questions from Couric were unfair, or at least that we can’t infer very much from them. Given the large role Fannie/Freddie played in our current problems and the fact that McCain was one of very few in either party willing to regulate them more heavily, it’s a bit much for Couric to ask Palin what ELSE McCain had done. He did more than most, including his opponents. (And her citation of the Commerce Committee is a off, given that they don’t have responsibility for regulating Wall Street.) Moreover, it’s hard to expect Pailin to be able to cite everything McCain has done in 26 years in Congress given she’s been on the ticket for two months. Couric should have asked McCain this directly, since she had him on the news the same night.

  4. comment number 4 by: Patrick R. Sullivan

    I’m with Andrew Biggs. Couric’s:

    ‘Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…’

    was hilarious in missing the point. ‘Other than correctly recognizing that FM and FM were likely to blow up in our faces and cause the current crisis…what else has McCain done for us?’

    Especially since it was ‘community organizers’ working for such as ACORN with their ‘affordable housing’ scams who are, at bottom, culpable. That is, people just like Barack Obama.