McCain’s Rapid Reaction

As the situation on Wall Street develops and worries grow about the economy, Sen. McCain already has an effective ad out discussing the issue:

Now, I’m not sure that this problem will be solvable with more regulation—the market is already doing enough to punish those firms that engaged in the trade of “liar loans” in the subprime market. However, McCain is pounding the issue of which candidate is best suited to lead this country in a crisis. When it comes to leadership, McCain has a decisive edge both substantively and in the polls.

The looming financial crisis is based on bipartisan stupidity in the creation of GSEs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, Sen McCain has been on top of this issue for months now. Obama’s pick of Sen. Biden is VP hurts his ability to champion reform—Biden has cozy ties to the banking industry, especially Bank of America/NBNA. McCain and Palin have the opportunity to once again display themselves as the champions of substantive reform rather that the nondescript idea of “change.”

This ad shows that the McCain team can rapidly react to changing circumstances and use them to reinforce their political narratives. The Obama campaign does not seem to have the same ability—at least not that they’ve been able to show. Presidential politics is a game of maneuver, and McCain’s team has some master tacticians. Whether Obama can catch up is anyone’s guess, but going negative and attacking McCain won’t be the way to do it.