Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Phil Gramm is STILL Advising McCain

Mike Allen’s Playbook on Politico had this tidbit from Prince of Darkness Novak today:

“After Sen. John McCain publicly repudiated his close friend and adviser Phil Gramm’s comments about a ‘nation of whiners’ and a ‘mental recession,’ the two old political comrades patched up their relationship. Gramm apologized to McCain for his remarks … McCain told Gramm not to worry about the expected pitfalls of a campaign surrogate. Gramm will continue as an adviser and surrogate.

Catch that, mainstream media? Phil Gramm of “mental recession” and “nation of whiners” fame is STILL advising John McCain.

Luckily, the Obama camp picked up on this, and brought it up in a morning statement:

The campaign sends out a statement slamming McCain’s economic plan, claiming it gives tax breaks to the oil companies but not to the middle class, adding:

“But that shouldn’t come as a surprise since today we learned that Phil Gramm will continue to advise Senator McCain on economic policy despite calling Americans struggling in this economy ‘whiners.’”

McCain did not, in fact, throw Gramm “under a bus,” (nor did he banish him to Belarus): Phil Gramm is still advising John McCain on the issue of the economy.

And Obama, bring this up again and again in speeches (once you return from your trip), and don’t just make a joke about it: make sure everyone knows how out-of-touch McCain is.

Think about it: his CHIEF economic adviser believes we’re just in a mental recession. Barack, tie it back to the troubles of real Americans and paint McCain as completely out-of-touch. This is a great opportunity for Obama to connect to real voters.

UPDATE: Great quote from Barney Frank:

Earlier this week, I asked Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chair of the House Financial Services Committee, what his take was on Gramm’s comments.

“That’s who he is,” Frank said. “And John McCain supported him for president. Obama never supported Jeremiah Wright for president. John McCain supported Phil Gramm for president, he’s a major influence on McCain. This is a mean guy, who thinks if you’re poor it’s your own fault, and has also been a contributor to the regulatory problem. He’s the scariest part of John McCain and I think that it’s very helpful that people know about it.”

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July 18, 2008 - Posted by | Economy, Uncategorized | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Why is Obama not beating this down McCain’s throat?!?!?

    Comment by Why?!? | July 18, 2008 | Reply

  2. Sigh, it’s frustrating. In his defense now, he’s heading out of the country. In a way, it’s better Gramm stays with the campaign, that way Obama can unload when he’s back. Whether he will or not is another story.

    Comment by dansac | July 18, 2008 | Reply


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