This week McCain's adviser, Greg Strimple, publicly announced that the McCain campaign would try to distract the voters from the financial crisis by attacking Obama. In his own words:
"'We are very well-funded, and we are looking for a very aggressive last 30 days,'' said senior adviser Greg Strimple. 'We're looking to turning the page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama's liberal, aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for the Americans.'"
Sticking to this script, Sarah Palin has been trying to tie Obama to Bill Ayers, a former member of the radical Weather Underground group, which carried out a series of bombings during the early 1970s. From the same article linked above Palin has been saying:
"Obama 'is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country,' Palin, 44, the Republican vice presidential nominee, told donors at a fundraiser last night in Costa Mesa, California. 'This, ladies and gentleman, is not the kind of change that I think we should be believing in.'"
Palin and her backers are ignoring the fact that the man in question is now a respected professor, the bombings took place 40 years ago when Obama was only 8 years old, and Palin herself was hardly out of diapers at the time.
In the meantime, Obama has finally come out with ads pointing out that McCain was one of the "Keating Five" from the 1980s, a much more recent and pertinent connection to the current crisis facing our nation. Although McCain was ultimately cleared of illegal actions in the scandal, he was reprimanded for "poor judgment."
If McCain wants to try to "turn the page" away from our economic crisis and attack Obama to keep the American public's mind off the mess he helped get us in, it isn't a wise strategy. How many other skeletons does a 72-year-old man have in his closet compared to a 47-year-old man? I'd wager a lot more. Two can play this game.
In the meantime, Wall Street is continuing to tank, with stocks down nearly 500 points to below 10,000this morning after the markets in Europe went into free-fall overnight. This isn't the kind of financial problem you can just wave $700 billion at and it will make it go away. This is a serious, long-term financial debacle and it will take more than Congress passing a bailout package to fix it.
McCain will try to turn the page, but I think the American public won't let him do it, as long as their 401ks are going down the tubes and their mortgage payments are in arrears and there is so little confidence in the entire banking system. They'll just keep going back to the first chapter and seeing that the hero of this story is not going to be John "Keating Five" McCain. There is a reason Obama's poll numbers keep going up no matter how many attacks McCain and his henchwoman make on Obama.
As President Dubya famously said, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me...you can't get fooled again."