I’d Steer Clear of the Word ‘Divorced’, John

September 16, 2008

Joe Biden goes after McCain on the economy:

Pace Jonah Goldberg, McCain was foolish to stick to his ‘fundamentals are strong’ formulation. Jonah is right that excessive alarmism from prominent politicians will only makes things worse; Ambinder has made the same point with less venom and more nuance. But when Alan Greenspan is talking about a once-in-a-century disaster, pretending that everything is just fine isn’t the correct balance between telling it like it is and keeping people calm. As a tactical point, it’s foolish for a flamboyantly rich candidate to come across as fiddling while Rome burns. And since the claim is obviously false, it’s hard to spin it as taking the high road.

On the other hand, the Obama camp’s decision to go after McCain for his line about being ‘divorced from the everyday challenges’ of normal people is a little ugly. It’s an obvious fact that neither Senator is personally feeling the crunch of a troubled economy right now. This was no doubt a tactically sound move: with McCain being punished more and more for lying, making him think that telling the truth will only make things worse is in Obama’s interest. That doesn’t make it any less distasteful.

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