McCain’s Populist Problem

I recognize that Chris Cillizza is clearly a non-partisan and as such his success as a columnist and media personality are predicated on his ability to cut through the political clutter to make salient points about  political strategy and tactics. Today’s piece in The Fix about John McCain’s newly found populism is by no means a departure from this. My role, as a skeptical partisan hack and blogger is to point out the obvious things that Chris is NOT saying.

Chris notes the following…

The onrushing economic crisis on Wall Street has prompted John McCain to adopt a populist tone in his rhetoric, a change that, if the Democratic primary season is any guide, could well turn into an effective gambit in the general election contest against Barack Obama.

The “us vs. them” idea that has come to dominate McCain’s speeches and public comments over the past 72 hours has been particularly obvious on the campaign trail in the past day.

In a speech yesterday in Tampa, Fla., McCain praised the “working people of this state and nation” while condemning the “greed and mismanagement of Wall Street and Washington.”

There is no doubt that populism works and in hard financial times like today a populist message is amplified. Allow me to point out what Chris neglects to note, the value of a populist message can be measured in two ways; the quality of the message itself as well as quality of the messenger.

John McCain as the messenger can talk populism all day long but in the end when the man who drafted his economic policy is Phill Gramm, a chief architech of the housing/financial collapse we are experiencing today, he is no populist.

Just one look at the illustration below should make it clear that John McCain’s interests rest firmly in the pocket of greedy corporate lobbyists. So I have one question for the pundits who will chew through Cillizza’s message in the days to come, how does this jive with McCain’s populist message?

2 Responses to “McCain’s Populist Problem”

  1. Angellight says:

    “The Real Scoop On Palin’s Staged Town Hall Meeting — Another Pretend Moment!

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

    So, what was the catch? Unlike most town-hall events, which are open to the public, include diverse crowds, and no one needs an advance invitation, this event was for ticket-holders only. And the only way to get a ticket was through the local Republican Party, after an advance RSVP. No wonder Palin was prepared to play “stump the candidate” — it was a very friendly crowd that had no interest in testing her.

    It doesn’t exactly sound like a vote of confidence in the candidates’ ability to answer tough questions, does it?”

    How long will the GOP continue to get away with lying, cheating and deceiving the American people?

  2. radical_Moderate says:

    Even with the friendly crowd Palin still managed to give a “non answer” answer, she is a lightweight and quite a few Americans are coming around to seeing it.

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