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Wednesday, October 15, 2008
John McCain's Last Chance

We need some new heroism from John McCain tonight, and it will have to be an approach to the debate that is contrary to his senatorial instincts.

Tonight in the third presidential debate we find out whether Senator John McCain still has a fighting change to win the election -- and also (forgive me) whether he deserves one. He already is a Vietnam War hero, but we need some fresh heroism, and we need it tonight.

This is his last chance to speak at length to the American people with Senator Obama in the room before the election. To some degree, he has been letting running mate Governor Sarah Palin and talk radio do the heavy lifting, while he has kept his unfortunate, veteran senatorial cool. That's a great way to lose an election, which is what he's doing.

Here's why it matters that Senator Obama is in the room. Tonight Senator McCain has to pay as little attention to the moderator and to Senator Obama's words as possible, and spend most of his time talking about things the Big Media Acronyms (BMA) still don't want to report about his opponent and the Democratic Party -- while he can do it when there are cameras on Obama. He can't get caught up in Obama's half-hidden radical leftist ties with terrorist William Ayers and with anti-American (the Reverend) Jeremiah Wright; those are a little too obscure for the voting populace at large, and too complex for sound bites. He has to pick topics everyone cares about, and he has to hit so hard that the BMA have to report it and discuss it for the next few weeks, even if they don't want to.

First he takes on the economic crisis. (This would have to be divided between two or three responses somehow.)

McCAIN: Bob [Schieffer, the moderator], I'm glad you asked about the economic crisis. Let's get something straight. This happened, for the most part, because Democratic administrations put laws in place forcing banks to make loans to people who were bad risks, so that even people who couldn't afford the American Dream of owning a own could get a risky and expensive mortgage. Then, very helpfully, they had Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy up a lot of those very risky loans, so that the banks could make more of them to people who couldn't afford them. The code word for this is "affordable housing." It doesn't look so affordable now. This isn't the market failing; this is government distortion of the market failing on an epic scale. Some of us saw this coming a few years ago. We should have found louder ways to warn about it, I guess; that is our mistake. The Democratic Party's first mistake, and Senator Barack Obama's mistake, and, I admit, some Republicans' mistake, was doing this in the first place. The second mistake was taking large campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which look a lot like bribes to look the other way -- because their third mistake was to look the other way, for years, while some of us were warning of danger.

While Fannie and Freddie were zooming toward failure, their executives were fraudulently cooking the books to meet the conditions for large bonuses. One of the largest offenders was Franklin Raines, who was chairman and CEO of Freddie Mac from 1998 to 2004, and director of President Clinton's Office of Management and Budget before that. He walked away with about $90 million, $25 million of which he gave back in exchange for having criminal charges dropped. Since then, he has been an economic advisor to the Obama campaign.

One of the largest offenders is Jamie Gorelick, a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States in the Clinton administration, who collected more than $27 million.

Jim Johnson walked away with more than $20 million; he has been an advisor to the Obama campaign and for a while even led the team that was vetting possible running mates.

It's really not so much Senator Obama's terrorist friends and his radical, America-hating friends who worry me. It's the people he turns to for advice during this campaign, who have contributed to the present economic catastrophe.

Now, a lot of people on both sides of the aisle received campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, I have over the last few decades received a total of $21,500 dollars in political contributions from Fannie and Freddie. I have in my hand a check for that amount, drawn on my personal funds, made out to the US Treasury. I am giving that money to the US government; I don't want it.

Obviously, though, Fannie and Freddie don't like me nearly as much as they like Senator Obama, who in just a few years has received $126,349 from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I have two questions for you, Senator Obama. First, will you renounce Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson as campaign advisors right here, tonight, and promise not to appoint them or Jamie Gorelick to any posts in a possible Obama administration? And will you promise the American people right now to return the one-eighth of a million dollars you received from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Then, every time he has the floor, if Obama has not answered those two questions acceptably, McCain repeats them as part of his responses to other questions. Later . . .

McCAIN: Bob, you asked an interesting question, but there's a more important issue here that we need to discuss. Senator Obama's ties to ACORN are beginning to come out in the press, despite his best efforts to hide them. He worked with them, he was their lawyer, and he knows what they're about. He has funneled a lot of foundation and government money to them over the years. Right now, ACORN is under investigation for large-scale voter registration fraud in numerous states, and this is not a new thing for them, either. In the last presidential election, ACORN submitted thousands of voter registrations in Washington state alone, and only six of them proved to be legitimate. Senator Obama knows ACORN. He knows that the federal government has been funding them. And Senator Obama just in this campaign has given ACORN $800,000 to fund their efforts in his behalf.

Once again, it's not his terrorist and radical friends that trouble me most; it's his friends who are right now fraudulently undermining not just our economic system, but our political system as well. This is worse than Senator Obama being on ACORN's payroll. Now ACORN is on Senator Obama's payroll.

My questions for Senator Obama are: Will you promise here and now not to appoint anyone with ties to ACORN to any position in the federal government, if you are elected? Will you promise, whether you are president or a senator, to push for an Attorney General investigation of ACORN? And will you promise the American people tonight, right here in front of the cameras, that ACORN will receive no money from the federal government under a Barack Obama administration, if you happen to be elected? And will you use all of your influence to stop ACORN's voter fraud in this election? And will you, as current leader of the Democratic Party, use your influence to move your party toward the very sensible national requirement of photo ID for voters at polling places?

Then, every time he has the floor, if Obama has not answered these questions, McCain repeats them.

If Obama actually agrees to these things, McCain might say in closing:

McCAIN: I thank Senator Obama for answering clearly the questions I've asked of him tonight. I hope he told the truth for once, but I am not optimistic, when I think how long and how hard he has tried to hide his past and his friends. He and his cronies in Washington have undermined the US economy in spectacular ways to advance their radical agendas. He and his cronies in many states have tried to undermine our most sacred political act, our vote, in order to get him and other Democrats elected. I think the thing to do is to throw them all out, when we have the chance. But I'm only one man, and since I'm not hooked up with Senator Obama's friends, I only get one vote. My fellow Americans, you get the rest of the votes. I ask for your vote on November 4.

If Obama won't answer the questions:

McCAIN: My fellow Americans, I've asked Senator Obama some crucial questions tonight, and he has refused to answer them. I have had to ask them because the mainstream media will not ask them; they have essentially become an arm of the Obama campaign. They have helped him hide his past; they have helped him hide who he really is. I plead with you, the American people, to vote for him if you think he is best qualified to serve you as president and can best be trusted in difficult times -- but don't cast that vote for him until he has answered publicly and properly the questions he has evaded tonight. And if he won't answer, or if he can't answer, there is one candidate on the ballot who has fought for you when his life -- my life -- was on the line. I've done what I could to fight for you here tonight. As God is my witness, I will fight for you as president as hard and as wisely as I can. I love my country. I am proud of my country. The American people are good. The American people deserve to be prosperous and free. And you know I speak from my heart and my history when I say, God bless the United States of America.

I don't necessarily think all this will happen. And I suspect someone could find better words to accomplish the same goal. But, one way or another, this is what has to happen tonight for John McCain to have a good chance of winning on November 4, in spite of the BMA and in spite of systematic, intentional, large-scale, mostly Democratic voter fraud. The BMA will attack him hysterically for dirty campaigning -- which this is not -- but they will have to keep talking about it.

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