The McCain Economic "Team" (1 Viewer)

DavidM

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The McCain Economic "Team"

Intellectual diversity, for better and for worse.
by Andrew Ferguson
02/25/2008, Volume 013, Issue 23


There's good reason to think that in economic matters, John McCain doesn't know his own mind. He's even admitted as much, in off-the-cuff statements that Democrats will be repeating from now till November.

"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," McCain told the Boston Globe late last year. He said that in choosing a vice president he'd look for a person with economic experience to compensate for his own shortcomings. "I'm going to be honest," he told Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal three years ago. "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." McCain has since tried, implausibly, to disavow all these statements, protesting that his knowledge of economics is perfectly sufficient for a president. But the zigs and zags of his 25-year career as a congressman and senator suggest that, when he said he didn't know much about economic policy, he was giving us some of that bracing straight talk.




http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/751tryie.asp?pg=2
 

Shawn

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It's a strange thing. I actually respect McCain more for saying that. It's refreshing. You can't be an expert on everything--it's just not possible. But you can have the judgement to surround yourself with good counsel, and learn to sift through that counsel to make decisions.

I wish he wouldn't back away from that statement.
 

Rickboy

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I agree with Shawn to a point. However a President needs some basic understanding of Macro and Micro Economics. In the last debate, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul beat the crap out of him over that question. McCain came out as totally incompetent on the issue...
 

Mamba

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It's a strange thing. I actually respect McCain more for saying that. It's refreshing. You can't be an expert on everything--it's just not possible. But you can have the judgement to surround yourself with good counsel, and learn to sift through that counsel to make decisions.

I wish he wouldn't back away from that statement.

That principle didn't work out so well for GWB. The bottom line is making sure you're surrounding yourself with the right people.
 

Rickboy

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That principle didn't work out so well for GWB. The bottom line is making sure you're surrounding yourself with the right people.

GWB doesn't have any excuse. He has an MBA.
 
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DavidM

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It's a strange thing. I actually respect McCain more for saying that. It's refreshing.

Shawn, I agree in principle on that as well. It's one of the things I appreciate about Obama, who has said the same.

One of the things I did this morning was spend some time trying to learn more about the economic aspect of McCain's platform -- particularly, of interest to me, set against the backdrop of his stance on Iraq and, militarily, overall. So in part, I'm hoping it'll be fleshed-out here in a way I can form a better opinion.

I'm not suggesting he does or doesn't have sound economic positions, but it's admittedly an aspect of his platform I'm not well-versed on and from searching around this morning, the items I had a chance to briefly scan didn't lend much substance. It seems one of his less-defined positions (at least in my initial investigation, which could be innacurate).
 

easydave

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McCain definitely will need help on the economic front. He has a lot of merit as Commander-in-Chief but I would not hire him to run my business.
 

Shawn

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That principle didn't work out so well for GWB. The bottom line is making sure you're surrounding yourself with the right people.

George Bush showed horrendous judgement and poor decision making skills, confusing being decisive and firm with good leadership.
 

MLU

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In that article on the first page there is a statement by the author that I really like, although he sees it as a weakness. He refers to McCain's statement to Ron Paul in which he mentions that he would rely on the advice of "people like Jack Kemp, Phil Gramm, Warren Rudman, Pete Peterson and the Concord group."
Notice that phrase "people like." What makes it odd is that those people aren't like each other at all, at least when it comes to their economic views. A couple of them, if you put them in the same room, would set off an intergalactic explosion like the collision of matter and antimatter.
Wow. Are looking at the possible election of a guy who will rely on or encourage dissenting opinions as opposed to a boardroom full of "Yes men"? Who was the last President to welcome that? Kennedy?

McCain's shortcomings in economic are no different than Obama's shortcomings in foreign policy. Both of them will rely heavily on people more experienced in those respective fields. It has always been this way and it will always be this way. No one knows everything. The only thing that might concern me with Obama in this regard is that not only is he a newcomer to the national political stage, but to Washington DC. Has he been there long enough to enlist the support and place his confidence in the right people?

Only one thing is certain: We're going to end up with a better President this time next year.
 

LSSpam

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In that article on the first page there is a statement by the author that I really like, although he sees it as a weakness. He refers to McCain's statement to Ron Paul in which he mentions that he would rely on the advice of "people like Jack Kemp, Phil Gramm, Warren Rudman, Pete Peterson and the Concord group." Wow. Are looking at the possible election of a guy who will rely on or encourage dissenting opinions as opposed to a boardroom full of "Yes men"? Who was the last President to welcome that? Kennedy?

McCain's shortcomings in economic are no different than Obama's shortcomings in foreign policy. Both of them will rely heavily on people more experienced in those respective fields. It has always been this way and it will always be this way. No one knows everything. The only thing that might concern me with Obama in this regard is that not only is he a newcomer to the national political stage, but to Washington DC. Has he been there long enough to enlist the support and place his confidence in the right people?

Only one thing is certain: We're going to end up with a better President this time next year.

The thing you have to keep in mind about McCain is he relies far, far more heavily on personal relationships then ideological purity in terms of who he associates with. This is, in large part, where his maverick reputation comes from as he has supported personal friends on the other side of the isle as strongly as those within his own party.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Well I mean "neither" really. Or rather "both". McCain is probably loyal to a fault, and his willingness to break values to support a colleague is troublesome, but he keeps a very wide range of friends and is exposed to a lot of different viewpoints from people he trusts implicitly, meaning he has been and will continue to be more of a "uniter" then a "divider".

It drives a lot of people (such as the paragon of ideological purity, Ron Paul, and his supporters) wild but in my opinion it's also just how business gets done.

I'd love to elect a philosopher King, but if we're choosing politicians give me one who can make friends on both sides of the isle and is willing to listen and trust them all.
 
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DavidM

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McCain's shortcomings in economic are no different than Obama's shortcomings in foreign policy. Both of them will rely heavily on people more experienced in those respective fields. It has always been this way and it will always be this way. No one knows everything.

Again, I agree with that sentiment.

Two things poised to be (the) major campaign issues leading up to November are the war in Iraq and the economy. I haven't yet stumbled on good op-eds that disect substance (I'm sure they are out there) about McCain's economic platform (the first return in a Google search was a 2005 WSJ article.) Let's face it, all the candidates make reasonable points when taken from their own websites.

So frame it another way, how is McCain positioning himself on the economy beyond being surrounded with competent people? For those who have followed his campaign more closely, what is your opinion of his position and how he can use it as a strength to win over voters in November? How do his ideas on things like proposed spending and tax cuts mesh with a continued presence in Iraq? Or anything else you think is relevant.
 

LSSpam

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So frame it another way, how is McCain positioning himself on the economy beyond being surrounded with competent people? For those who have followed his campaign more closely, what is your opinion of his position and how he can use it as a strength to win over voters in November? How do his ideas on things like proposed spending and tax cuts mesh with a continued presence in Iraq? Or anything else you think is relevant.

Well from a political perspective I can tell you with almost certainty he's going to frame himself in terms of

1) Iraq/Foreign Policy/Experience

2) Fiscal Conservatism/Tax Cuts/Cut the deficit

I'm pretty sure those will be his principal "pillars" and how he'll contrast himself the sharpest with Obama. It's the best way he can appeal to the independent voters as well (who may not like Iraq but still feel better about McCain on foreign policy then Obama so far).

I also think he's going to beat the "border security" drum a little but by and large immigration will probably be a "hands off" issue this election. No one really ran on that platform so no candidate has been forced to really develop any sort of position on it other then McCain placating the base a little by hushing up about amnesty and focusing in on "border security". Fortunately (for McCain) "border security" dovetails nicely into his "strong on terrorism" stance and all.
 

MLU

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Again, I agree with that sentiment.

Two things poised to be (the) major campaign issues leading up to November are the war in Iraq and the economy. I haven't yet stumbled on good op-eds that disect substance (I'm sure they are out there) about McCain's economic platform (the first return in a Google search was a 2005 WSJ article.) Let's face it, all the candidates make reasonable points when taken from their own websites.

So frame it another way, how is McCain positioning himself on the economy beyond being surrounded with competent people? For those who have followed his campaign more closely, what is your opinion of his position and how he can use it as a strength to win over voters in November? How do his ideas on things like proposed spending and tax cuts mesh with a continued presence in Iraq? Or anything else you think is relevant.
Well, until now it hasn't made sense for him to discuss it. His strength is with Iraq and foreign policy. After the Democrats figure out who will face him, I imagine that it will then become a big focus. Until then, he has a month or so to get his house in order. I wouldn't expect to find too much until then.
 

bclemms

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Who is going to give a rat's *** about Iraq if our economy slides into a deep recession or depression?
 

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