My advice to John McCain would be to get together "the old gang" that basically pushed the Reagan economic policies of the 1980s -- the Gingrichs, Kemps and others of that era -- and add to that roster some people with fresh views on the future of our economy. It should be a serious undertaking.
If these men and women sequestered themselves away, be it for a week or a month, and produced an entirely new and innovative way of dealing with both taxation and government spending, they would do their candidate the biggest favor imaginable.
First, they would appear to acknowledge that we are in big economic trouble, versus a president who last week seemed shocked that gas prices could rise to $4 a gallon, and who dismissed any possibility of recession. That only confirms the notion of a Republican Party that is out of touch.
Second, such an effort, if more than simply window dressing, could attract the attention of many independent voters who appreciate Obama and Clinton's interest in the economic plight of Americans, but who aren't necessarily convinced that they offer any concrete answers.
Hanging his hat on the success of The Surge in Iraq is risky business for McCain. And it seems silly to waste his undisputed record as the enemy of federal budget earmarks -- unjustified pork for individual lawmakers' states. That valuable political commodity is obscured by endless talk of Iraq; it leads to a media drumbeat that economics just isn't McCain's cup of tea.
"Seize the day," goes the Latin maxim. If McCain and his party don't, they will find this special political holiday they now enjoy to be have been wasted time; particularly when they are left facing the inevitable Democratic ticket that, in one order or another, will include both the names Clinton and Obama.
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