No, not Secretary Powell’s endorsement of Senator Obama. That endorsement moves, what, the .1% of the vote waiting around to hear what Colin Powell thinks of McCain-Obama? Secretary Powell is a great American and much admired, but only Manhattan-Beltway elites think this matters. McCain on Letterman, Sarah Palin on SNL and of course Joe the Plumber are of far greater consequence that Secretary Powell’s blessing. Senator Obama remains in his prevent defense, and that is good news for McCain-Palin.
The Sunday show that really mattered was John McCain’s appearance with Chris Wallace where the GOP nominee hammered away at Obama’s pledge to “spread the wealth.” Matt Lewis has the video, but here’s the key excerpt from the transcript:
John McCain: I’m very pleased with what happened at the debate, because it helped define the issues with the American people. And Joe the Plumber is the average citizen, and Joe the Plumber is now speaking for millions of small business people all over America, and they’re becoming aware that ‘we need to spread the wealth around’ is not what small business people want. And before we go into this business of, well, they wouldn’t be taxed, etc., 50% of small business income would be taxed under Senator Obama’s plan. That’s 16 million small business jobs in America, and that’s what Joe the Plumber’s figure d out. Finally, could I just say, where are we in America where a candidate for president comes to a person’s driveway, he asks him a question, doesn’t like the answer, and all of a sudden he’s savaged by the candidate’s people? Savaged by them. Here’s a guy who’s a private citizen. What’s that all about?…”
John McCain: “I think his plans are redistribution of the wealth. He said himself, we need to spread the wealth around. Now…”
Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “Is that socialism?”
John McCain: “That’s one of the tenets of socialism, but it’s more the liberal left, which he’s always been in. He’s always been in the left lane of American politics. That’s why he voted 94 times against any tax cuts or for tax increases. That’s why he voted for the Democratic budget resolution that would raise taxes on some individuals who make $42,000 a year. That’s why he has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate.”
Americans lost a lot of wealth in the past three weeks. They’d like to get it back, and now that the shock is wearing off, they are coming to realize that not only will Obama’s high tax/anti-trade policies stunt economic growth and prolong and deepen the recession, they also are noticing that even if growth returns to the economy and their own portfolios, Obama proposes to spread their new wealth around to his old friends. A vote for Obama is a vote against increasing your own well-being and the total wealth of your family, as well as a vote for the return of the death tax. This is one of the two core messages of the last two weeks, the other being Obama’s judgment when it comes to personnel and the 3,000 senior appointments he or McCain will have to make as president.
The Ohio number tipped back to McCain today in the Mason-Dixon poll, and Reuters-Zogby closed to within 3 nationally. Rasmussen ticked a point in Obama’s direction, but the trend overall towards a tightening race is unmistakable, as is the amount of time and volatility left in the race for the White House.
You can count on Joe Biden to give away the game every time. Here are some of his remarks from a fundraiser Saturday night:
“Undecided people are having a difficult time just culturally making the change, making the move for the first African American president in the history of the United States of America,” the Democratic vice-presidential nominee said at a San Francisco fundraiser Saturday evening. “So we need to respond. We need to respond at the moment, immediately, not wait, not hang around, not assume any of this won’t stick.” (emphasis added.)
Joe’s been getting briefed on the campaign’s polling, no doubt, and he’s never been able to keep the last thing he’s heard from being the first thing he says, and here we have a glimpse of what the campaign’s internals are showing: Obama cannot close the deal. Biden attributes this to racism, but the whole country is talking about Joe the Plumber and Obama’s plan to institute a “grab and go” policy towards people’s money. Biden himself is out stumping that it is patriotic to pay more in taxes, and of course voters are going to resist docking their own pay and opportunity to institute Obama-Biden’s grand transfer of wealth scheme.
Whether you want your wealth spread around is the question of the next 15 days. It isn’t the question Obama-Biden wanted at the top of the list heading into the home stretch.