Krauthammer, Barnes: McCain’s going down

posted at 12:35 pm on October 3, 2008 by Allahpundit

A progress report on where the conservative universe stands within the Kubler-Ross paradigm. The grassroots? Locked until election day in stage one. The big A? Mired perpetually in stage four (stage three isn’t available to atheists). Krauthammer and Barnes? Snug in stage five, no longer fearing the reaper. Their reasons are different — CK thinks America needs a break from drama and FB thinks it’s the economy, stupid — but the upshot is the same:

It’s time to start transitioning to Jindalmania.

In the primary campaign, Obama was cool as in hip. Now Obama is cool as in collected. He has the discipline to let slow and steady carry him to victory. He has not at all distinguished himself in this economic crisis — nor, one might add, in any other during his national career — but detachment has served him well. He understands that this election, like the election of 1980, demands only one thing of the challenger: Make yourself acceptable. Once Ronald Reagan convinced America that he was not menacing, he won in a landslide. If Obama convinces the electorate that he is not too exotic or green or unprepared, he wins as well…

Part of reassurance is intellectual. Like Palin, he’s a rookie, but in his 19 months on the national stage he has achieved fluency in areas in which he has no experience. In the foreign policy debate with McCain, as in his July news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama held his own — fluid, familiar and therefore plausibly presidential.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he had a “second-class intellect, but a first-class temperament.” Obama has shown that he is a man of limited experience, questionable convictions, deeply troubling associations (Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko) and an alarming lack of self-definition — do you really know who he is and what he believes? Nonetheless, he’s got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.

For what it’s worth, not one but two righty bloggers have told me recently that if there’s any redeeming value to an Obama presidency, it’ll be along the temperamental lines Krauthammer suggests. As for Barnes, here’s the lay-up:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is there any way McCain can redeem himself?

BARNES: The bailout plan is probably going to pass on Friday. It might work for him that his imprint will be on it. But the economic crisis has probably doomed McCain’s campaign. Look at the polls: Obama is ahead now nationally and in most battleground states. It might not be fair. McCain tried to do something and now he’s getting punished for it. Obama didn’t do much. But politics is not always fair.

What about Maverick pulling a rabbit out of the hat and attacking Obama for the Democrats’ role in the Fannie/Freddie financial crisis? Ace is fantasizing but James Pethokoukis at U.S. News says it’s a pipe dream: Sources inside Team Maverick tell him that McCain has to step lightly on the CRA thanks to the left’s racial demagoguery and to the fact that it’s a complex economic issue and explaining complex economic issues isn’t his strong suit. Exit question: Er, at this point, what does McCain have to lose? How else can he make up four or five points in the national polls? Palin’s performance may help at the margin, but the CBS and CNN data wasn’t encouraging and people tend not to care too much about VP anyway. McCain’s got two debates left to diminish The One, but it’s hard to imagine what he could do or say at this point to give people a window onto Obama that they don’t already have. Presumably we’re in for a nonstop barrage of Wright/Ayers ads in the last two weeks before the election, but since he’s going to get demagogued for that anyway, why not focus on Frank, Dodd, and the CRA instead?

Update: Per Ace and Pethokoukis, Michael Barone wonders where Palin was last night on the Dems and Fannie/Freddie.

I have one major criticism of Palin’s performance. She failed to pound home one important argument that the McCain campaign has unaccountably failed to make. She did point out briefly that McCain sought in 2005 to impose tighter regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and that Democrats opposed this Republican move. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac then proceeded to encourage the issuance of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, injecting toxic waste into financial institutions of all kinds. Politicians of both parties share responsibility for widening home ownership further than should have been done. But Democrats can be fairly blamed for failing to rein in Fannie and Freddie. Here the case is laid out by my American Enterprise Institute colleagues Peter Wallison and Charles Calomiris. And two British writers, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Dominic Lawson and the Times of London’s Gerard Baker, have done a better job on this issue than almost any of their American counterparts.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

There is not much that the electorate can absorb in a month. There are a few well-known liberals who can be easily blamed for their major rolls in the financial crisis. Everyone who pays taxes, or has a 401K or a hope of retirement is fighting mad, and directing their rage toward a few certain elected officials who happen to be Democrats looks sensible to me. It beats poll-watching.

NellE on October 3, 2008 at 2:39 PM

um…that would be “Russia will push forward…”
Argh.

Count to 10 on October 3, 2008 at 2:41 PM

So it’s just one more thing we can’t be honest about because it makes us racist. I can’t wait until “pres. Obama”, (oh God, shudder the thought and bring me a barf bag) decides what’s racist and what isn’t. He’ll probably make us all listen to Rev. Wright in order to become enlightened.

anniekc on October 3, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Forget 2012 that belongs to The One, we’ll have to wait until 2016 and then face the democrats LGBT or Islamist candidate. Identity politics trumps all in the time of political correctness and moral relativity. America has lost its soul, courage and dignity. Like cattle to the slaughter so go our traditions and values because the majority refuses to defend them. Issues and facts can not compete with manufactured and skillfully marketed injustice, let the healing begin, embrace the liberation of socialism. Don’t forget to get your own race, ethnic, sexuality and/or religious tolerance card, without it you will not have a voice/housing/job or a prayer!

All Hail The Messiah

dmann on October 3, 2008 at 2:41 PM

The point both Palin and McCain need to pound home is that the country cannot afford the White House and the Congress to all be dem controlled. They keep demonizing Obama but that is getting nowhere. Palin should have beaten home the point that OK, fine Obama won’t raise taxes. But the House will and Obama is NOT going to veto anything that comes from the Dem controlled House. Even the undecideds can understand that.

I thought this campaign got itself on track but now I am concerned. I still hold out hope for a McCain win and think that Barnes and the rest of the Beltway pundits need to do some electoral homework. I show it as Nevada being the deciding factor. Obama wins it and there is a tie. McCain wins it and he wins. Until I see Ohio, NC, VA and FLA absolutely and firmly in Obama’s column, I will hold out hope. If any of those fail, it is pretty much over. McCain had a tough road to hoe but he could have done it better.

grdred944 on October 3, 2008 at 2:41 PM

And, in other news, the morning of the 1994 midterms, the democrats were expected to maintain their majorities.

Vashta.Nerada on October 3, 2008 at 2:42 PM

I know this is above the understanding of some people here, but I think the reason McCain has not laid blame where it belongs is possibly the Democrats have control of both houses of congress. If he believes, like I am sure he does, a bailout bill is needed. Unless he wants the economy to collapse, attacking those at fault prior to the bills passage would be foolish. After passage, however, he is able to shine the light of truth on the issue Bill O’Rielly started last night with his exposure of lies told by one Barney Frank. Who denied saying what a video of him

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on October 3, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Y’all are still acting as though Allahpundit’s description on the two articles was accurate. I’ve already pointed out that both writers qualified their predictions, and that Barnes’s take post-VP debate was more optimistic. Krauthammer was just on TV also suggesting that McCain has an opening.

Look, Allapundit is smart and provocative, but he’s not a pessimist. He’s a defeatist – which is a lot worse, in my opinion – and he has been one at least since 2006 on a range of critical issues, but especially in regard to every development in Iraq and in regard to this election.

CK MacLeod on October 3, 2008 at 2:48 PM

“Michael Barone wonders where Palin was last night on the Dems and Fannie/Freddie.”

McCain said that we have to fix the problem first then point fingers.

McCain better have something planned regarding Fannie/Freddie after the bill. Attack the earmarks in the bill, the petty politics on display and all the Democrat fingerprints on Fannie and Freddie. Americans are fed up with Washington.

We heard Biden blaming the mess on McCain and Deregulation. And McCain’s bill for stricter oversight on Fannie/Freddie after their Accounting Scandals? Does Enron and WorldCom ring any bells? Rahm Emanuel was a Board member of one of the GSEs. Jamie Gorelick? Jim Johnson? Franklin Raines? McCain should be prepping a whole laundry list for his upcoming debate and political ads. How much lobby money did Barack take from Fannie and Freddie.

danking70 on October 3, 2008 at 2:49 PM

I have no confidence in election results. You have lying cheaters like ACORN stuffing the ballot boxes with bums, the dead, and dead heads that contribute nothing to this country. All they do is take take take at our expense.

maybe some of the old election laws with poll taxes and other qualifying requirements wasn’t such a bad thing. Ignorant dumb a$$es make dangerous voters, not to mention gullable sheep.

saiga on October 3, 2008 at 2:51 PM

If Mr. Krauthammer is right, and Sen. McCain loses the election, it will be for one astonishing reason: he has conceded it.

I am completely baffled as to Sen. McCain’s unwillingness to fight and to lead. His selection of Gov. Palin aside (which was a brilliant move, in my opinion) he has done nothing to meet the Democrats, and Sen. Obama head-on.

It may be that partisanship leaves him uncomfortable, and that he wants to be “above the fray”. If you want to be “above the fray”, however, why get into it in the first place?

It is not that citizens in a democracy want, or love, partisanship…it is that they are entitled to it.If you want to avoid partisanship, the world offers many options: North Korea, China, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Belorussia are all warm and cuddly non-partisan states. Venezuela, in it’s last presidential election, demonstrated what happens when one side abandons partisanship (the opposition,in protest, chose not to compete)…you get a Chavez, or a Chavez clone.

Democratic politics requires partisanship, thrives on partisanship. Steel is tempered by heat, not by lukewarm water, and the same may be said for leaders.

Sen. McCain refuses to fight. Given a golden opportunity during the recent economic crisis, he refused to lead. This election was his to win. It was handed to him on a silver platter and he said “No thanks”.

The election is still a month away, and the things can change. Gov. Palin has demonstrated that she can be partisan, she can defend her side, her people and those who support her. Sen. McCain has not.

If Sen. McCain doesn’t start-and start soon-to take some pages from the Palin playbook, Charles Krauthammer’s prediction will become reality.

Blaise on October 3, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Maybe this is the game changer…the ultimate October surprise against Obama????

Allah,

What say you on that article link?

Kokonut on October 3, 2008 at 1:03 PM
From the order…..

Philip J. Berg, Esq. (Plaintiff)

v.

Barack Hussein Obama et. al. (Defendants)

Civil Action No. 08-cv-04083

ORDERED

ON DEFENDANT’S, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE’S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO RULE 12(b)(1) AND 12(b)(6)

THIS CAUSE came before the United States District Court Judge, Honorable R. Barclay Surrick on Defendant’s Barack Hussein Obama and the Democratic National Committee’s Motion to Dismiss. Having review the Motion and Plaintiff’s Opposition to said Motion and for good cause shown, it is hereby

ORDERED that the Motion to Dismiss pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) is DENIED. It is further ORDER of this Court that the following discovery to be turned over to Plaintiff within three (3) days:

1. Obama’s “vault” version (certified copy of his “original” long version) Birth Certificate; and

2. A certified copy of Obama’s Certificate of Citizenship

3. A certified copy of Obama’s Oath of Allegiance.

IT IS SO ORDERED

Dated: September ____, 2008

Hon. R. Barclay Surrick
United States District Court Judge
For the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Dr.Cwac.Cwac on October 3, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Note that this Order is neither dated or signed. It was submitted by the plaintiff, along with plaintiff’s brief in opposition to the defendant’s motion to dismiss. Defendant submitted a proposed Order as well. The judge can sign one or the other order, depending on his/her decision or the judge can write his own Order. But the existence of Plaintiff’s PROPOSED order is meaningless; the motion is still pending.

Willie on October 3, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Exit question: Er, at this point, what does McCain have to lose?

Nothing, dammit! Obviously there will be racial demagoguery, but what else is new? I’d almost like to see them try, and see how the bitter clingers and others, react. If you’re sitting in a county whose real estate values have tanked thanks to the socialist affirmative action program, you’re not going to be in the mood to be called a racist.

Update: Per Ace and Pethokoukis, Michael Barone wonders where Palin was last night on the Dems and Fannie/Freddie.

It was beyond frustrating to watch, hence my inability to give Palin an A and compare her to Reagan as others are suggesting. It’s only the most important issue of the election right now (pushing energy to the back seat) and she (like McCain) blew it.

Buy Danish on October 3, 2008 at 3:13 PM

hope for the best, brace for the worst.

Pcoop on October 3, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Look, Allapundit is smart and provocative, but he’s not a pessimist. He’s a defeatist – which is a lot worse, in my opinion – and he has been one at least since 2006 on a range of critical issues, but especially in regard to every development in Iraq and in regard to this election.

CK MacLeod on October 3, 2008 at 2:48 PM

In the practical art of politics, you must be prepared to fight at any time in the future. In the impractical art of politics, you should have been prepared quite some time ago, and it’s probably already too late. You’re scroomed.
- Sun Tzu’s Nephew

MB4 on October 3, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Sen. McCain refuses to fight. Given a golden opportunity during the recent economic crisis, he refused to lead. This election was his to win. It was handed to him on a silver platter and he said “No thanks”………..

If Sen. McCain doesn’t start-and start soon-to take some pages from the Palin playbook, Charles Krauthammer’s prediction will become reality.

Blaise on October 3, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Agreed 100%

McCain’s being Mr. Nice Guy, his only hope is to take the gloves off and fight. No way he can ride Palin’s skirt-tail into the White House.

BTW, saw BOC in ’80, most boring concert ever.

infidel4life on October 3, 2008 at 3:19 PM

I know it is expected to blame the party in power (Presidency) for the nations ills, but when the dems took over the house and senate, the dow was at 12,400 and gas was $2.15 a gallon. Are you better off today than you were two years ago????? What has changed? I know, those who contol the purse strings (according to the Constitution) has shifted to the Socialist Democrats.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on October 3, 2008 at 3:24 PM

CK thinks America needs a break from drama
A smart man believes it to come from Obama?
Befuddlement is indignant
This is significant
Oh, bumma!

Entelechy on October 3, 2008 at 3:51 PM

saiga on October 3, 2008 at 2:51 PM

I object on the behalf of Jerry Garcia and dead heads everywhere but agree.

Buzzy on October 3, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Obama is the perfect example of Peter Seller’s character in “Being There”. The empty suit marches on as the Republicans snooze through the biggest Democrat caused disaster of all time.

Is it okay for me to still vote McCain/Palin on Nov.4?
I’m going to, just to see if the Marxist can lose……..

adamsmith on October 3, 2008 at 4:05 PM

If I wrote a note in disappearing ink that was negative and shoved it up the rectum of a passing goat, AP would find and publish it.

CC

CapedConservative on October 3, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Obama is the perfect example of Peter Seller’s character in “Being There”. The empty suit marches on as the Republicans snooze through the biggest Democrat caused disaster of all time.

***

adamsmith on October 3, 2008 at 4:05 PM

I’ve thought that too. And I’ll add that he’s also reminded me in a way of Forrest Gump during the running period when he had all those idiots following him, though not really knowing why. That said, I loved Forrest Gump, and I loathe Obama. Unfortunately, Obama won’t quit running until well after he’s won the election.

BuckeyeSam on October 3, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Based on today’s stock market close we could have a very ugly next week, especially Monday, further complicating this mess.

patrick neid on October 3, 2008 at 4:26 PM

I know this is above the understanding of some people here, but I think the reason McCain has not laid blame where it belongs is possibly the Democrats have control of both houses of congress. If he believes, like I am sure he does, a bailout bill is needed. Unless he wants the economy to collapse, attacking those at fault prior to the bills passage would be foolish. After passage, however, he is able to shine the light of truth on the issue Bill O’Rielly started last night with his exposure of lies told by one Barney Frank. Who denied saying what a video of him

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on October 3, 2008 at 2:47 PM

That may be it. Or, it could be that if we snooped too closely into who’s been getting sub prime mortgages we’d find that a lot of illegals were getting them.

Get the connection?

Illegal aliens => McCain / Kennedy Amnesty Bill?

The defecrats aren’t the only ones to blame for this; albeit they pretty much put everything in place with the CRA.

And, I don’t care what McCain says about securing the border. He’s for amnesty.

BowHuntingTexas on October 3, 2008 at 4:34 PM

I know it is an uphill battle for McCain and Palin, but it is not over yet. I do agree that the economic issue has hurt McCain, as it usually hurts Republicans.

I also would like to see Frank and Raines and Dodd and Shumer get their comeuppence, but I think the biggest problem with that is not just the complexity of the problem, it is that the Republicans controlled the House for more than a decade. I do think the Democrats are responsible for most of it, but the Republicans were not out of power through all that time.

Clinton was president when it started, but Newt Gingrich did not stop it. And Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid won in 2006, but Bush was president. Bush and McCain both tried to intervene in the situation but were stopped not only by powerful Democrats, but by a lack of concern for the problem by many in their own party.

That makes it harder to blame the Democrats. But that does not mean they can’t try. At this point, there is not a lot to lose.

Terrye on October 3, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Progressoverpeace,

You have mentioned misvaluation twice, and I am not sure exactly to what you are referring. Are you talking about the detaching of housing prices from inflation, or the misvaluation of the securities these mortgages were bundled into?

DFCtomm on October 3, 2008 at 2:27 PM

I was referring to Fannie and Freddie intentionally overpaying for loans, to take them off the lenders’ inventory and make it appear as if they had been priced correctly at origination – which was untrue. Franklin Raines explained this thinking when he called investments in real estate to be “almost riskless” in response to Republican demands that Fannie should have a larger much larger reserve backing its portfolio.

progressoverpeace on October 3, 2008 at 5:29 PM

More cowbell!!!!

Wait what?

More Fannie Mae stories!

Seixon on October 3, 2008 at 5:42 PM

What about Maverick pulling a rabbit out of the hat and attacking Obama for the Democrats’ role in the Fannie/Freddie financial crisis?

He can’t because Republicans were either complicit and/or basically silent until now on this issue. Republicans also had their hand caught in that cookie jar so they’ve lost that argument also. Dems were atrocious and Reps were pathetic.

All McCain is left with is 30 sec ads doing his dirty work for him. You know the ineffective ones with the movie trailer voice, that can’t be trusted and no one listens to anymore.

McCain doesn’t have the nuts to call out Dems/Obama and it cuts into his “working across the aisle” (being everything to everybody) theme.

McCain has worried so much about being perceived as hot-headed that he works extra hard to not step on toes and create balance. If he wouldn’t have worried so much about that false premise and wasn’t so controlled or reactionary to the lib media, he would be winning.

nottakingsides on October 3, 2008 at 5:53 PM

Sen. McCain refuses to fight. Given a golden opportunity during the recent economic crisis, he refused to lead. This election was his to win. It was handed to him on a silver platter and he said “No thanks”.

And now we see why the media hand-picked him to be the GOP candidate… they knew him to (likely) be a toothless maverick that would fail to attack the eventual Democratic pick.

electric-rascal on October 3, 2008 at 6:11 PM

To me, Fred Barnes is a liberal in republican clothing. I am fed up with him in Fox News and don’t want to see him again frankly. As for Krauthammer, he is an elitist in the sense of George Will. Krauthammer is gifted in wordage, but his analysis is obscure and rather weak.

jencab on October 3, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Couldn’t have said it better myself, jencab!

After all, Fred is one of the stars of the FOX show titled The Beltway Boys.

Yeah, real “finger on the pulse” of flyover country, Fred.

Teddy on October 3, 2008 at 6:28 PM

For my money, McCain should lay bare Obama’s aggressive attack on free speech and the guarantees of Pelosi and Reid that they will pass the “Fairness Doctrine” to silence all critics of Obama and the left.

This from a man who will not admit a mistake, lies and covers up his relationships and voting record, and as a sitting US Senator encourages the use of initimidation tactics by his supporters and public officials under the color of authority. Imagine what life could turn into when he gets his Civil National Security Corps and mandatory civil national service.

in_awe on October 3, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3