Capehart: Obama Wins the Day By Channeling America's Anxiety
On a day when markets are in turmoil, you might think that the role of an American president, current or aspiring, would be to assure his fellow citizens—and the world—that our economy is fundamentally strong.
That's what John McCain did. In contrast, Barack Obama suggested that the American economy is fundamentally weak. WaPo's Jonathan Capehart has declared Obama the winner of the exchange, for doing a better job in channeling the country's anxiety.Click on image for video of McCain and Obama addressing the state of the economy on the stump today, and Capehart's commentary.
JOHN MCCAIN: Before I continue with too many of my remarks, you know that there's been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street. People are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times, and I promise you we will never put America in this position again. We will clean up Wall Street.Here was Capehart's assessment.
BARACK OBAMA: Senator McCain, what economy are you talking about? What's more fundamental than the ability to find a job that pays the bills and that can raise a family.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Given the battle going back and forth between McCain and Obama today, in terms of who has a better finger on the pulse of the American people when it comes to the economic crisis that we're finding ourselves in, it looks as though Senator Obama is the one who comes closest to expressing at least the anxiety around kitchen tables around the country.Even in the depths of the Great Depression, FDR assured his fellow Americans, in his first inagural speech, that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." But on a day that calls for courage, Barack Obama was willing to talk the American economy down for the sake of short-term political gain. What does that say about his qualities as a leader? What does it predict about how he would handle a crisis were he to become president? Is expressing America's anxiety leadership?
Will the MSM take note, or will it simply agree with Capehart that Obama won the day for having his finger on America's nervous pulse?