Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Economic crisis and campaign suspension

Obama on the bailout:

The main points from Obama's speech go as follows:
  • It is unreasonable to think that American taxpayers should pay $700 billion with no oversight or restrictions. The American people have every right for certain protections of their tax dollars.
  • Taxpayer dollars must not be used to reward Wall Street CEO bad behavior.
  • One man alone should not be allowed to decide how to spend $700 billion.
  • If taxpayers are asked to bail out Wall Street, they should be treated like investors of the companies.
  • The final decision must provide help to families struggling to stay in their homes.
  • People must understand that Congress knows about the emergency on Main St. as well as the one on Wall St.
There were more specific points embedded in each of those bullet-points, but those were the main headings.

McCain's response to the bailout:

Although not as organized as Obama's speech, McCain hit on several points.
  • McCain has met with economic advisors and members of Congress.
  • McCain will suspend his campaign tomorrow, and asks Obama to do the same.
  • McCain will call on President Bush to "convene a leadership meeting from both houses of Congress".
  • There needs to be bipartisanship.
  • McCain is confident that consensus will be reached before markets open on Monday.
  • McCain is asking that the debates be postponed.
The response that encourages confidence is the one from Obama: that he won't be suspending his campaign. That he has a multi-part plan to deal with the crisis now and in the future. That he is still in the campaign is some proof that he can multi-task, dealing with crises and keep to the task at hand at the same time (okay, that's redundant, but hey).

I like this hypothetical response from the Obama campaign (written up at Greg Laden's blog):
"The person we elect as president should be able to handle two important things, or more, at the same time. I'll be at the debate Friday evening, and I'll meet with the president as well. See you in Mississippi, John. Or not."
On a side note, Obama said "I", "me", or "myself" eleven times in his 6:16 speech (and the first was in the phrase "my-way-or-the-highway sort of politics"), whereas McCain said "I", "me", or "myself" seventeen times in 3:29 (I didn't count the number of times he said "we" and "our", since he used these words in many different contexts). That's a rate of 1.76 personal pronouns per minute for Obama (1.6 if you discount the my-way-or-the-highway comment about GWB), and 4.88 personal pronouns for McCain. I don't know what this means - probably nothing - but it was something that I noticed.

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