Another telling paragraph…economic plans of the candidates

Examining America’s presidential candidates | Examining the candidates | The Economist

On his plans to fix the financial crisis, Mr Obama averages 3.1, a point higher than Mr McCain. Still, some said they didn’t quite know what they were rating—reasonably enough, since neither candidate has produced clear plans of his own. 

This is the interesting line in the article, at least to me.  The candidates haven’t put out their plans yet.  Why?  Because there is no pretty picture to this mess.  There is nothing that can be proposed that won’t come off as a horrible, terrible scenario.  So no one says anything…

Comments (2)

  1. Gardner

    Possibly true. It may also be that the way out of the mess will be messy and very, very delicate, revealing plausible next steps only as each next step is taken. If that’s the scenario, putting out a detailed plan now would be very risky, both in terms of affecting market expectations and in terms of future political viability (cf. “read my lips; no new taxes).

  2. kaiyen (Post author)

    I wonder how much damage is already done with the term “bail-out,” which has a rather negative feel to it. So whatever the first plausible step is, much less the next, is going to sound unpalatable. But yes, I agree that overcommitting right now would just be setting one’s self up for later (your example of Bush no. 1 is a perfect example). But so far things are only crystalizing recently, and only in little hints, it seems.

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