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Crisis, What Crisis?

Though the first half of the debate featured questions about the economy, neither McCain nor Obama really effectively reflected the mood of the nation this past week.  Moreover, neither spoke
directly to the American people about the economy.  There was little sense that this debate took place with this week's economic situation as the backdrop. 

Had this been a military crisis, I am confident McCain would have forced everyone to understand the seriousness of the threat (granted, some conservatives believe the economic crisis has been over-hyped). 

Did McCain and Obama miss a chance to be the candidate to sound the alarm -- and demonstrate that they alone fully understand the seriousness of the threat?  Certainly, they both lacked any sense of passion on the issue. 

Why didn't McCain at least begin my addressing the fact that this situation was so serious that he almost didn't even attend the debate?

Lastly, will this have a long-term affect on the economic debate going forward?  Does the fact that neither candidate treated it like an emergency make the crisis seem less perilous?

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