Echoes of McCain…

In mid-September of last year, John McCain, while prefacing prepared remarks at a campaign stop, said the following

There has 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.”

Now, he’d said this before…many times.  However, the financial markets were coming unglued, and the equity markets weren’t far behind. Unless you were locked in a sensory deprivation tank in northern Canada, you saw the political / media firestorm that followed.  Obama, his supporters, and most of the media twisted those comments to make McCain appear thoroughly out of touch with the reality of the deteriorating economic situation.

Remember the words “fundamental”, “strong”, and “economy”

Note that on September 15th, US unemployment stood at 6.2% and the major stock marketed indices stood at 10,917 (DJIA) and 1,192 (S&P500).

Obama gets elected…excuse me while I choke the bile back down.  He continues in campaign mode even after the inauguration.  A sample…in late January, he delivers some very negative comments about the economy:

Note that on January 30th,  US unemployment stood at 7.6% and the major stock marketed indices stood at 8,000 (DJIA) and 826 (S&P500).

Another sample comes from February 18th…also known as the “crisis” speech.

Note that by February 18th, the DJIA had declined another 445 points and the S&P had dropped 42.
This week, after bottoming on Monday, the stock market finally rallied (~9%) on unexpectedly favorable profitability projections from Citigroup and Bank of America, two previously discussed nationalization targets.  Additionally, GM announced that it’s cash flow performance was better than expected, obviating the near-term need for additional federal cash transfusions. 

On Friday, US unemployment stood at 8.1% and the major stock marketed indices stood at 7224 (DJIA), 757 (S&P500).

From mid-September of last year to the present, the unemployment rate went from 6.2% to 8.1%, a 30% riseThe DJIA & S&P 500 each dropped about 35% from mid-September’s level (includes this week’s rally).

Today, President Obama offered the following perspective on the US economy

“We have the most productive workers on earth. We’ve got some of the most innovative businesses on earth. We’ve got incredible universities,” Obama said Friday.
“If we are keeping focus on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy … then we’re gonna get through this, and I’m very confident about that,” Obama said, while acknowledging the crisis has caused “incredible pain and hardship.”

Remember the words “fundamental” and “economy“?  The words “strong” and “sound” are pretty similar in meaning.  Isn’t worker productivity one of the things McCain cited during his defense of his economic optimism? 

On thing I’ll give Obama, his gravity-defying syntax makes it difficult to cut his words into a terse soundbite as easily as the Democrats cherry-picked McCain’s words.  Isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery? 

I wonder what caused this aneurism-inducing 15g 180 degree rhetorical turnabout? 

One thing’s for sure, it WASN’T because of an improving national employment situation or a rising equity market.

Perhaps it might have been Obama’s biggest Wall Street supporter, Warren Buffett, saying some things not so supportive?

Perhaps it might have been influenced by the growing public indignation over the 1.2 TRILLION dollars obligated by the Federal government since Obama took office…or the TRILLIONS of new spending proposals now in the works?  How about the broken / forgotten promises about transparency, a public comment period for legislation pending his signature, or reducing / eliminating earmarks?

Perhaps it might have had something to do with some declining Presidential poll numbers

Or could it have been that his earlier rhetoric now seemed grossly out of place given the news Wall Street received this last week?

Take your pick…but I’ll give you a hint…it’s an “all of the above” kind of question.(Thanks to my guest poster…my husband)


One Response

  1. WASHINGTON (AP)– The economy is fundamentally sound despite the temporary “mess” it’s in, the White House said Sunday in the kind of upbeat assessment that Barack Obama had mocked as a presidential candidate.

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