McCain Campaign Ad: Wanted, Economic Surrogate

Now that we’ve become a socialist country (strike that–an 80% socialist country) under George Bush and now that McCain himself is channeling Herbert Hoover, the McCain campaign has a surrogate problem.

They’re actually fairly lucky–Phil Gramm, the architect of this year’s economic meltdown, had already gotten hidden away somewhere after he called us all a nation of "whiners." Had he still be out campaigning for McCain, it’d have made it a lot easier for us to explain how electing McCain (and putting Phil Gramm in charge of Treasury) would only exacerbate our economic crisis, since Gramm’s the guy who caused it in the first place.

But then yesterday, McCain’s top domestic advisor, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, claimed that John McCain had invented the blackberry. Holtz-Eakin is still out there boasting of McCain’s great accomplishments, but his credibility has declined from that of a carnival huckster to that of a clown.

On the same day, Carly Fiorina stepped in it too. She already was a terrible surrogate to talk about the economy. After all, she failed as CEO of HP. More importantly, one of the McCain campaign’s responses to this economic meltdown is to attack CEOs–like Fiorina–who devastate their company but still get multi-million dollar golden parachutes.

But things got worse yesterday. Fiorina–who after McCain spotlighted in an attempt to have a woman, any woman, defending Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be Veep–trotted out and asserted that Palin is not qualified to run a corporation. And for that matter, John McCain isn’t either. Somehow that comment, not Fiorina’s qualifications as a poster child for wasteful golden parachutes, was enough for the McCain campaign to start canceling Fiorina’s speaking engagements. 

McCain might have any of the number of highly-connected 170-odd Republicans running his campaign. Then again, seeing as how Obama’s making effective ads pointing out that McCain’s campaign is being run by the same special interests McCain claims he’ll take on, that doesn’t help McCain either. 

So who’s that leave? I understand Mitt Romney was out touting McCain’s ability on the economy last night. But given that Mitt agrees with the rest of the world that McCain is a pathological liar, Mitt isn’t the best surrogate for McCain either.

I gotta say, it’s a testament to how bad this economic crisis is when you’ve got a Republican candidate for President who can’t find an appropriate economic surrogate.

  1. scribe says:

    Let us also remember that about The Dog Torturer it’s been accurately said that “he couldn’t lie straight in bed”, i.e., not only is The Mittster a liar, but he’s bad at it, too.

  2. masaccio says:

    If Carly Fiorina says Sarah Palin couldn’t run HP, who are we to argue? Fiorina knows from personal experience what it takes to not be able to run HP.

  3. victoria says:

    Debbie W-S had the best line of the whole campaign! Andrea said McCain sounds like a Democrat – Debbie responds he sounds like a hypocrite. I’ll bet Andrea had to pick her lower jaw up with both hands. More like that, please.

  4. alank says:

    Unfortunately, Obama’s campaign has the taint, albeit stealth, of lobbyists somewhat evident at least since the commencement of the DNC in Denver a few weeks back. Press access to the lobbyists at a Denver hotel was blocked by police even from the sidewalk which was declared on the spot as private property. The episode lent the air of secrecy surrounding these shady types who prefer to conduct their business sotto voce. Very overt sponsorship of lobbyist clients in the form of AT&T and Coca Cola, which btw was the only stock in the Dow 30 to close up last Monday.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Carly Fiorina. Fired for incompetence, netting $21 million to shut up and go away, $21 million in contracted for compensation besides. “Volunteering” for McBush. Too honest about John McCain. Tossed again.

    It is entirely relevant to voters whether a candidate is competent to run a big business. Running a government is harder. In both, top executives don’t make goods, tot up accounts or sell products and services. They manage the personalities of their direct reports, read endless streams of financial statements and reports, cut through the rosy scenarios in search of hard facts, anticipate opponents and “market” actions, and sell the best face possible to the public and regulators. Bush, true to his caricatured nature, only does the latter. So would McSame. So would Vlad the Palin.

    When executives fail, why do they walk away with so much money when ordinary workers walk away with bus fare and a kick in the pants? For the neocons, it’s partly because they don’t want government, as taxpayers understand it, to run effectively. It’s also CYA. In a business, for example,

    1. Boards of Directors, like voters, are often horrible at hiring. For starters, they’re a committee. They are also prone to believing their search experts — loyal to CEO’s who give them most of their business, rather than to boards — who, like Hollywood agents, sell only the talent they bring in the door. Unknowns are hired from the outside, based on overly-polished resumes, purportedly from a tiny pool of candidates.

    2. Boards are horrible at contracting with CEO’s. Handicapped by reluctance to be responsible for their hires and by reliance on their psychologists, investigators, lawyers, and compensation experts; desperate to put a CEO between them and liability for running the company; burdened by delays and distractions, they hire in a panic. They pay whatever’s asked. They demand little in return. Just look at Jack Welch’s, Grasso’s, Fiorina’s exit packages.

    3. Boards often sleep on duty. When awake, CEO’s filter, sift and polish so much of what they get, it’s often hard to recognize that it’s supposed to be the same data operating managers use. When the time comes abruptly to change CEO’s, the corporate ship has often run aground and there are holes below the waterline, including serial mismanagement that leads to inattention or incompetence at the top. The board sees its first duty as stopping leaks.

    4. Consequently, they pay departing CEO’s a lot of money to STFU. They also pay them lots of money because that’s what they agreed to do in the hiring contract. If they don’t pay up, the CEO will sue and everyone’s dirty linen gets washed in public, brown stains and all.

    That’s why CEO’s like Fiorina walk away richer than if they’d stayed. Another company board often hires them because it would rather hire someone with “experience”, a kind of insurance insulating the board, than hire a promising candidate with talent, skills and related, but not direct experience. That would require business judgment and a willingness to take responsibility, things bureaucracies and laws are designed to help boards avoid.

    St. John and Vlad the Palin aren’t competent to run a complex organization, be it a company or the US government. (We’re not supposed to know that their top staff, lobbyists, will run it.) Perversely, that’s exactly why she thinks voters will elect them; it’s what boards do. She oughta know.

  6. Teddy Partridge says:

    Romney is not a businessman, he is a corporate privateer. Nothing more than a modern pirate. He should be the face of the McCain campaign on economics, as he’s nothing more than a faux “creating-wealth” break-em-up job-killing machine.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think that describes Romney and his plundering peers in a nutshell. They are today’s carp and catfish, masquerading as sharks and sailfish. The cash they generate costs not just tens of thousands of jobs, but the hearts of the very “going concerns” they claim to resuscitate. Like corporate whalers, they they render all, bone, muscle and fat, and call themselves kings of the sea. They’re just sailors with harpoons and knives.

  7. Neil says:

    According to Carney, the newly elected mayor spent more than $50,000 in city funds to redecorate her office, without the council’s authorization.

    “I thought it was an outrageous expense, especially for someone who had run as a budget cutter,” said Carney. “It was also illegal, because Sarah had not received the council’s approval.”

    According to Carney, Palin’s office makeover included flocked, red wallpaper. “It looked like a bordello.”

    Although Carney says he no longer has documentation of the expenditures, in his recollection Palin paid for the office face-lift with money from a city highway fund that was used to plow snow, grade roads and fill potholes — essential municipal services, particularly in weather-battered Alaska.

    Carney confronted Mayor Palin at a City Council hearing, and was shocked by her response.

    “I braced her about it,” he said. “I told her it was against the law to make such a large expenditure without the council taking a vote. She said, ‘I’m the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can’t.’”

    “I’ll never forget it — it’s one of the few times in my life I’ve been speechless,” Carney added. “It would have been easier for her to finesse it. She had the votes on the council by then, she controlled it. But she just pushed forward. That’s Sarah. She just has no respect for rules and regulations.”

    Palin’s Wasteful Ways, Talbot, Salon

  8. prostratedragon says:

    Holtz-Eakin is still out there boasting of McCain’s great accomplishments, but his credibility has declined from that of a carnival huckster to that of a clown.

    Good night, that was DH-E that said that ludicrous nonsense?! That’s almost tragic; he really does have solid professional credentials, even not having done badly as the head of CBO, considering (you know, the one that deals with Congress, which McCain is in, not OMB which deals with the White House, which McCain is not in, as McCain apparently thought). Frankly he should have known better than to risk them with the GOP campaign this season.

    But don’t worry: that sense of unease that’s been in the air for over a week is finding its explanation now. We might all be wearing rubber noses and bopping each other in the head with nerf truncheons by Friday evening.

    (FWIW, I’m with those who suspect that Ben meant that he’s lost control of the things that the Fed normally really does normally have some real control over, like a few select interest rates and prices. But that actually makes the remarks even scarier, to me. And I think Hale felt he was doing his part to get us a little bit ready for some stunners.)