Bailout: Where it all went wrong for McCain

Assuming, as most nonpartisan observers do, that Sen. Obama is walking away with this election today, it might behoove Republicans and their supporters to ask why a seemingly close election in early September got away from them so badly. For one potential answer, I can do no better than point them to The Short View on Financial Times TV (general link here). In the episode for yesterday, November 3rd, John Authers points once again, as he has several times before, to the correlation between the turn in Sen. McCain’s fortunes and the collapse of Lehmann Bros. Frank Luntz is one of many to have suggested that the failure of the McCain campaign to react by opposing the Administration’s bailout package was decisive. As Frank says,

That decision alone would have made him a hero to tens of millions of hard-working middle-class voters who resent seeing their tax dollars handed over to fund the retirement packages of the Billionaire Boys Club. But he didn’t.

In short, it’s the economy, stupid. Surprisingly for a self-described maverick, it appears to have been Sen. McCain’s desire to cling to the self-serving nostrums of Wall Street and the Beltway that doomed him.