Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Economy roars back to center of the campaign

Economy roars back to center of the campaign
With Wall Street crisis, McCain and Obama forced onto new proving ground
By Dan Balz and Robert Barney - Washington Post

WASHINGTON - Yesterday's meltdown on Wall Street brought the economy roaring back to the center of the presidential campaign, and the question for the final seven weeks of the general-election campaign is whether Barack Obama or John McCain can convince voters that he is capable of leading the country out of the morass.

McCain faces the bigger challenge. As the Republican nominee, he must answer for what has happened on President Bush's watch and offer a plausible explanation for why his conservative administration would be genuinely different. Obama already is attacking him as ill-equipped to deal with the financial crisis and has aggressively moved to tie a future McCain administration to a lobbyist-dominated Washington culture.

Obama's challenge is different. He begins with the reality that Democrats are seen as the party that is more trusted to deal with the economy. Despite that, he has struggled through much of the year to develop a compelling economic message. Where he remains suspect is on the strength of his leadership and his ability to connect with working- and middle-class voters.

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Economy roars back to center of the campaign

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