Michael Barone

Both Obama and McCain have recently advanced additional economic planks to help hard-pressed, middle-class Americans. But neither can claim to have contributed much in the way of substance to the actual steps that Paulson and Bernanke -- and, critically, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown -- have taken to get credit circulating in the blood veins of the economy once again. The fact is that neither Obama nor McCain knows precisely what he would do upon taking office Jan. 20, and voters may sense that it is naive to expect they should.

Democratic spin artists have dismissed McCains attacks on Obama as distractions amid a possible economic disaster, and I suspect they will be proved right. Yet it remains the case that about half the voters have doubts about Obama.

In three debates, the spin artists go on, Obama has shown that he more than meets the minimal standards for the office, as Ronald Reagan did in the single debate in 1980, and in a year like that one, in which most voters want the in party out, that will be enough. But the 1980 debate was on the Thursday before the election, and the decisive swing came over the weekend. Voters took almost every minute they could. Will they take more time this year, and give some thought to Joe the Plumber?


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM