The big question about tonight's debate is whether the town hall format will allow McCain to go on the attack as he intends. The town hall format involves the candidates fielding questions from ordinary citizens. In the last few days, the McCain campaign has decided to try to make this campaign about attacks on Obama. As I noted on Sunday in this column http://www.opednews.com/articles/McCain--Coming-are-his-De-by-Steven-Leser-081005-137.html , in every chance he will get , McCain will attack Obama on his past associations with three people. Obama never did anything wrong, and he isn't accused of doing anything wrong with these people, but that is to what McCain is reduced. McCain will also try to make people afraid of Obama despite Obama having been vetted in no less than 23 debates and through an 18 month campaign.
McCain Attacks Wildly and erratically While People are Hurting
McCain's attacks will come in the middle of one of the worst economic crises in the history of this country. Just yesterday, the Associated Press reported here http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081006/ap_on_re_us/utility_shut_offs_1 that people are getting their electric, other utility services shut off in alarming numbers. According to AP:
Shut-offs have been running 17 percent higher than last year among customers of New York state's major utilities, and 22 percent higher in economically hard-hit Michigan. They are up in all or part of dozens of other states, including Pennsylvania, Florida and California, according to an Associated Press check of regulators and energy companies.
Despite stepped-up efforts by state and federal governments, utilities and private groups to help people avoid shut-offs this winter, some worry the problem will only get worse in the coming months, particularly with the downturn on Wall Street.
"I just didn't have the money to pay," said Marie Williams, a single mother raising four daughters in Cohoes, N.Y., a former mill city on the Hudson River. "Rent had to be paid, and food for the girls."
A week ago, employment figures showed that the Unemployment rate had risen to 6.1% and that 750,000 Americans had lost their jobs in the last year. The stock market lost 350 points yesterday despite the passage of the $700 Billion dollar bailout and at closed below 10,000 for the first time in the last four years. Asian and European markets were down sharply again last night indicating we may be in for additional massive losses in the US Equity markets.
People are hurting, those who participate in the financial markets are terrified, and John McCain wants to talk about something that has already been discussed and has absolutely no bearing on what is going on in this country. It brings to mind the old yarn about Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
The people of this country want to hear from McCain and Obama what they intend to do about the financial crisis. They don't care about past trivial associations, they want to know what is going to be the way out of this mess in which we find ourselves. I have a prediction and that is if John McCain spends time over the next debate or the next few weeks on personal attacks instead of his plans for fixing the economy, he is going to be on the wrong side of the worst electoral landslide since 1984. McCain and his handlers can say the words Ayers, Wright and Rezco a billion times between now and November fourth and it will not help them. Even worse, as I mentioned yesterday, McCain has much more serious issues in his past that caused serious harm and loss to the American people and has parallels to the current economic crisis. McCain's Keating Five involvement, detailed here http://www.keatingeconomics.com involved McCain getting money from the owner of a savings and loan so that McCain would not pass laws that would regulate that Savings and Loan and others like it. The public, mostly elderly retired people lost almost five billion dollars from that particular savings and loan, and the public lost $100 Billion overall. The below video explains McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scandal.
If the video embed does not work, click this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDofbll86dY
If I could talk to John McCain about tonight's debate and the next few weeks, I would ask him this simple question. Senator McCain, is it going to be all about YOU? Do you care AT ALL what this country and its people are going through right now, or is it all about you trying to win this election? If you want to talk character and patriotism, here it is as clear as could be. Is it about the country, or you? I guess we will all see. My prediction is, as far as John McCain is concerned, it is all about him.