March 17th, 2008
01:41 PM ET

It’s 3 am in America, and Wall Street is Calling ... Anybody Home?


All three presidential candidates have moved in the past few days to put their campaigns on better footing. And from their perspective, they are probably pleased with the results. But it remains a mystery why they continue to duck the most urgent problem the rest of the country faces: a possible meltdown in our financial system.

John McCain is off in Iraq, and to be sure that is and will continue to be a major challenge. He is not only strengthening his credentials as a statesman – showing far more gravitas than his rivals squabbling on the other side – but he is also making effective political arguments about how wrong the Democratic leadership was on the surge.  Even as Baghdad was rocked by explosions today, McCain seemed "presidential."

With the fifth anniversary of the war coming this week and McCain about to frame the argument, Hillary Clinton moved smartly this morning to provide her own counter-argument to his.  Her views are subject to debate, but from a purely political perspective, she was shrewd to jump in and go toe-to-toe with McCain on national security.  Once again, she has gotten the jump on Barack Obama when it comes to unfolding arguments about policy.  His political team has often outfoxed hers, but her policy team has been much more on the cutting edge.

Meanwhile, Obama has moved smartly to dampen down the controversy about his former pastor.  His association is almost certain to reverberate for a long time on the web and in personal conversations, but he has been adept at facing it head-on in the press – witness his interview with Anderson on Friday – and as a result, the mainstream media is giving it fairly minor play. 

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Obama also showed important self-awareness, acknowledging that he allowed his message to grow “stale” ahead of Ohio and Texas, and he indicated that he is now trying to clear the decks of personal controversies so that he can go on a fresh offensive in the next few days.  It helped that he picked up important new delegates over the weekend and that Nancy Pelosi gave him a lift on how to resolve this in the end (Does she think that Obama on the ticket would elect more Democrats to the House?)

Even so, for all this successful maneuvering by the three candidates, it remains stunning that they are so silent – and so leaderless – on the burning issue of the day: a  financial mess that holds an ominous threat for tens of millions of Americans.  Just this morning, Alan Greenspan wrote in the Financial Times: “The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war.” 

Where in the world are McCain, Clinton and Obama on this?  (For that matter, where is George W. Bush?)   What understandings and prescriptions do they have to offer?  Who are they turning to for economic counsel who might be coming with them to the White House?  How will this crisis affect their promises for taxes and spending?  Some 25 state governments are now facing budget shortfalls for the next year.  What will the candidates plan to do as deficits soar in Washington? 

It’s 3 a.m. in America now, and Wall Street is calling…  Anybody home? 

– David Gergen, 360° Contributor

Filed under: David Gergen • Economy • Raw Politics
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Linda Lyons

    My question is: Why do we have MISS BLACK AMERICA , Black Entertainment Channel and Barak Obama's church is all black but if we would have MISS WHITE AMERICA , an all white entertainment channel or have a church that is white only, am sure that our famous Al Sharpton would be rolling in the streets. WHY IS THAT? I am shocked that a gentleman, who wants to be our President, does not have to salute our flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance nor even wear the American flag on his lapel. That should be his choice, but if you are going to represent the Americans, that is wrong..................WAKE UP AMERICANS

    March 18, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  2. Gloria

    I am disappointed to see that no matter how the candidates try to stick to the issues, CNN and others continue to stress race. Barack Obama cannot be held responsible for what his pastor say. Obama should only be held responsible for himself.
    My white pastor can and does preach some unbecoming messages at times. Leave Obama alone and go after his former pastor

    Stop the race rubbish and let us get on with the elections and the issues that need to be address.
    CNN, set an example, stop milking rubbish.


    March 18, 2008 at 10:28 am |
  3. Harley Webb Boaz, AL

    Obama's message will stay "stale" after this Jeremiah Wright and Rezko thing. First he didn't know Rezko that much and he just was another donor among the thousands. Then it turns out that he actually got 250,000 dollars from this man and that he met with him daily when he was raising money for him. Then we find out that Obama knew about Wrights sermons and thats why they took him off the invocation but still had some room for this hateful racist on the campaign as a "religious adviser" I think after knowing this about Rezko, those 8 years of state senate pet projects that the Hillary camp has been asking for when he asks for her tax returns, becomes even more important. I'd like to know if Rezko benefited from those earmarks. Obama's message is stale because he has lost all credibility with the people. I use to like the guy but now that I know he likes to attend church and listen to someone hate on me (a white guy) I don't want him to answer the phone if I'm calling at 3 am thats for sure. I think I'll pass on Mr. Obama

    March 18, 2008 at 5:48 am |
  4. Laurie

    Obama has lied, manipulated and deceived us. Do you really believe after 20 years he never heard Rev. Wright’s racist values and sermons? Did he never hear from or discuss this with Rev. Wright, whom he proclaims is his friend, mentor and advisor? If he does not believe in those racist values, then why did he continue to be an active member of TUCC? Why was Rev. Wright a part of his campaign? If he does not see that those racist values hold black people down and create conflict in our country, then where has he been? Who is Obama and what does he really believe? This baggage makes him unelectable, and beyond that, do you really want another lying, manipulative man in the White House? If Obama was an honorable man with any integrity, he would end his presidential campaign now. I call for his immediate withdrawal from the presidential campaign.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:21 am |
  5. Marian

    David I appreciate your level-headed wisdom so much. You have the ability to go right to the heart of an issue without all the emotion. Thank you so much for your insight and for speaking the truth.

    And, yes, it is 3am and who IS answering the red telephone? Wall Street is not only calling, it is falling, and the domino effect is sweeping the country. A barrel of oil greater than $100, a gallon of gasoline $4, a can of chili $2. A horrific war concocted entirely on false information with almost 4000 American lives lost, 4000 people.... countless Iraqis dead, Mesopotamia destroyed, and billons spent, while a few get richer. So many deceptions, and the end is not in sight. WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE? WHO IS TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS MESS? WHO IS MINDING THE STORE? WHERE ARE OUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES? WHERE IS THE OUTCRY OF AMERICANS?

    This is EXACTLY why Rev. Jeremiah Wright was angry. Americans are complaining about comments made in an African American church because no one wants to hear "the truth". Never mind the social justice...racist, homophobic, sexist... comments made in countless NON-African American and some African American churches across the nation every Sunday. Never mind the back-door deals now in progress in the DNC to favor the candidate "whose time it is". Never mind that tomorrow a family will learn that their son, daughter, father, mother was killed in a roadside bomb in Iraq. Never mind the psychological effect this war has on those service people who are blessed enough to return home alive. Never mind that someone will become homeless on tomorrow.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 am |
  6. Elliott A

    No no one is home. Americans are at their second job (night shift)

    March 18, 2008 at 2:13 am |
  7. Qwick from East Point, GA

    John McCain is the man! He is half a world away talking dogmatic about what Iraq needs while our own financial house is burning to the ground!! I guess he thinks that if he ignors the 800 pound gorrilla long enough that it will disappear. Yeah!! He is ready to be president! But, not of America!!

    March 18, 2008 at 12:43 am |
  8. Michelle

    I hope the often simplistic images presented by the media are not the only thing driving the American voters decision to vote for the most powerful executive (or CEO, depending on one's perspective) in the world. I hope citizens of this government are digging a bit deeper than promotional appearances, 30 second sound bites and charismatic hubbies to help them decide. Check out what the candidates have actually done.

    I do believe Obama has the talents and skills we need right now if we are to rebuild this country from the ashes of the Bush dynasty's devastating reign. Despite the whole black power hype the media is pushing, I do believe Obama when he says he has a broader world view than the 55 + activists who battled to win equal rights for people of color and women. He is a child of the 80's capable of broader thinking and able to bring divergent views together. This is because of his age and because of his unique experience as a man of mixed race. He is also a gifter orator, peacemaker and organizer who is capable of attracting the best talent from all parties to work to heal the racial, political and economic breaches that are now becoming even more painfully apparent.

    Just a comment about the economy. I am a new teacher in California. In our rural town, all the new teachers just got pink slips and two-thirds expect to be fired. One of the local schools is also in danger of closing due to lack of funding. All the school's aides will also be fired. The result is next year class sizes will be up to 36 children per classroom with no aides and no funding for materials. Because of reduced staff, teachers will again be asked to do duty before and after school as well as at recess...which means many will not even have a bathroom break all day. General education teachers K – 8 already have to teach P.E., science, music and art because there is often not funding to hire specialist in these fields. On top of this, teachers are intensely pressured to make sure students succeed on State testing under the mandates of No Child Left Behind. If their students fail the school will be punsihed by additional loss of funding. It is quickly becoming a Herculian task to be a public school teacher.

    March 18, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  9. TS

    Hillary at least has solutions for the rest of us! What middle class????

    March 17, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  10. M. Kelly

    HC is simply more on top of foreign affairs in general . . . I have full confidence that a head to head with McCain she would thrive and BO would stammer . . .

    And I still can't believe we are at war . . .

    March 17, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  11. Kathy - Idaho

    If you compare McCain to our current president – yes he does seem presidential.

    It's 3 a.m. and I'm awake because I don't know how I'm going to pay my health insurance that just went up by $150 a month, I'm awake because we can't roll over our construction loan to permanent financing because we are self employed and have to go with stated income and our business credit card debt is too high, I'm awake because it's hard to afford $4.00 a gallon milk and gas which is almost that – I could go on for hours and probably will. Just route those calls my way – I'm awake..

    March 17, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  12. LL Barra/ Woodstock,NY

    Hillary has at least brought up the concern of these foreign investors buying up our debt. Also commented on getting more information on the transparency of these Sovereign Wealth Funds. My fear is that 3AM phone call from Wall Street may be answered by someone in Asia. Or India. Or Saudi Arabia. Or Dubai. Or just not answered at all.

    March 17, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  13. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    I believe Bush said there would be no "bailouts". I wouldn't be surprised if McCain was tipped off to be out of the country today, since his grasp of domestic economic issues is weak. Clinton and Obama have both previously stated their plans for homeowners who have been victims of sub-prime and predatory lending practices, but I would be interested in hearing their response to the Fed's helping out Bear Stearns via JP Morgan Chase (the bailout the Bush administration could claim is NOT a bailout).

    Do you know if Chrysler or any of the airlines have ever paid back their "bailouts"? Do you know if the Fed will guarantee credit for NCAA tournament wagers? Sorry, I just had to throw that one in!

    March 17, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  14. andy

    Im home because its so cold I know Im home trying to stay warm in my bed because i will not turn my gas on to warm up because I cant keep paying at the pump and in the house so i do hope before i have cut my tree down in the backyard we can find some solutions and the next prez should and better have a plan ? I want to hear the plan also NOW! thanks david have a good night.

    March 17, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  15. Annie Kate


    Seems like no one is home when it comes to the economy – an economy that seems to be in a deep recession that is only going to get worse and linger with us for a while. I hope the candidates come up with a plan but we need the current administration to do something effective (and right) now; if we wait until next January when the administration changes its only going to be worse, last longer, and more people will suffer. People are losing their homes and jobs now and they need help now or we are going to be looking at catastrophic effects across a broad spectrum of or population – the take over of Bear Stearns today may be the first of many. Never a good thing; Obama and Clinton and McCaini all offer us change – perhaps the first change they can give us is them working with the current administration to help with this situation now instead of ignoring it from the campaign trail.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    March 17, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  16. Judy

    I agree with you David, all three candidates seem to be ignoring the financial meltdown of our economy. Either they just don't care or they don't have any solid solutions and that in itself is very scary. I hope perhaps Senator McCain might persuade Mike Bloomberg to be his running mate, even though the chance is slim to none. We need someone with financial savy and it's disheartening that no one, but no one, dares to mention what is happening to our economy.

    March 17, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  17. mike m.

    yehaw!!!!!Where is ross pero?? when you need him?

    March 17, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  18. Nobama

    He says he is against Nafta, but the Canadian Government was assured by his campaign, that is just a political stance.

    He says he was against the war, and wants to withdraw troops immediately, but Canadian Officials were told by his campaign, it is just a political stance to gain votes from Anti War voters.

    He says he doesn’t want this to be about race, yet he has been attending a church led by a clearly Anti White Minister for over 20 years.

    He doesn’t want business as usual politics, and is a candidate of change, yet he accepted 168,000 from Tony Rezko, who was at the time a suspect in a federal investigation and Barrack knew that. Rezko also made a sweetheart deal with Barrack Obama on Barrack Obama's 1.8Million Dollar Home in Chicago. Rezko has since been indicted, and there are several "High Ranking Illinois Officials" that are unnamed in the indictment, but clearly Barrack is linked after taking that kind of money from Rezko. Barrack also worked with Rezko in the private sector before getting elected as an Illinois Legislator.

    Barrack Obama's church is now criticizing him for distancing himself from them after he attended the church for 20 years, stating he is doing it for political gain. Here is the quote from the church he attended for 20 years...
    " ...It's time for us to say ..No' to these attacks and declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends." said the Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC General Minister and President, in a released statement.

    I am from Chicago, and I have many friends that vote for Barrack Obama on February 5th, that wish they could have a do over.

    March 17, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  19. Chuck in Alabama

    McCain is just showing "interest' in order to garner votes. HIllary has finally figured out how to address an issue first. Obama has realized that the past does come back to haunt you. Pelosi wants to be on the ticket. The American people have been reduced to sheep. If you raise your voice against those in office, you are a terrorist.

    I'm pretty sure the candidates believe that economics is such an unglamorous topic for an election, they shouldn't waste the time talking about it.

    Status quo, all's right with the world.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  20. Mary H - St. Louis, MO

    Yes, it seems we need more than doling out rebate checks as the answer to this. I think your point about who are they turning to for economic counsel is very critical. The issues are complex and therefore do not have a simple solution.... Ok, I know W is a lame duck president but shouldn't he be bringing some key people together to provide some short term advice that maybe could be passed on and transitioned to the new administration.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  21. Tammy

    Apparently not. I wish everyone in the mainstream media would push the real issues with these candidates like the economy, education, healthcare, foreign policy (and not just with Iraq), etc. Finding out Obama's views about his minister was entertaining, but that doesn't lower my gas prices or make it any cheaper for me to build my dream house. It doesn't make my health insurance any less expensive or guarantee that I'll even get to see a doctor when I need one (I just switched doctors today because my old one blows off my pre-diabetic tendencies and my mom died from the disease). I don't care about race or gender or much of the mindless babble the media continually wastes our time with in this election. No one is covering the real issues (well you are, but you tend to be the lone stranger even at CNN), and I think those are a little bit more important than whether or not Michelle Obama comes from a poor background, Cindy McCain got hooked on painkillers after an accident, Obama's minister is a bigot, or Ferraro is playing the race card. Am I the only one scared that no one seems to know who is home at 3:00 AM or what they'll do for real if the phone actually does ring? In less than eight months we elect someone to lead this country out of the hellhole it's currently in, and we the people deserve more from our candidates and the media that information fit for Mad Magazine.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  22. Ted McDonough

    Hello David

    You are with out a doubt the most knowledgeable and even minded political voice on television. When ever there is an issue that is being spun by both sides I always look to you for your perspective and insight and almost always agree with you. I actually had the pleasure of meeting you briefly in a check-in line up at the Omni Hotel a few years ago . I was a big fan then and remain so.

    Your comments on the economy are spot on. I wonder if you have seen todays' comments by Hillary and Barack on both the war and the economy? I can't help but notice that not only does Hillary always seem to come out with her views first , but that her comments are not just an observation of what is obviously going on and a vague rhetorical reponse like "we can't wait" as Obama's are, but they are a detailed analysis of what is going on with a detailed and well thought out comment on what she thinks should be done. She says that until a plan is put into place to fix the mortgage crisis things will not change.

    March 17, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  23. Kathy

    Wall Street shouldn't be calling the White House to bail it out. Wall Street greed created some messes. Wall Street must suffer some consequences... which it is. I know you really really really want to take the high road vs. get involved in the Pastor Jeremiah Wright stuff, but don't forget that it's not the governments job to fix Wall Street. I'm not sure you need to be indignent about the fact that the Pres. candidates are not paying attention to the ups and downs of the market.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  24. Andrew Woods

    Actually, I wish David Gergen was running for President. The guy is so solid, reasonable and balanced without compromising his views. I hope the next president takes him on as an advisor as have several past presidents. However, I wonder why everyone continues to think that the Republican vote is a boon to Obama. There are several documented, but unexplored, cases of Republican clubs in Texas that did get out the vote drives for Clinton in the closing days of that primary. Obama has fooled himself into thinking the GOP crossover voters are coming in for him. Clearly, the GOP would prefer to face Clinton in the general and it should surprise no one that they would attempt to fix any Dem primary - including Pennsylvania. The CNN poll shows Dems prefer Obama - so the party should watch the number of GOP crossover voters voting for Clinton - especially with the GOP races over. Obama thinks the GOP vote helps him. It doesn't. Worse, it is an insidious attempt to influence a national election.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  25. Neil

    What are the suppose to say? That you bought a house that cost 2x what you can afford? What are they going to say to Wall Street? That you're going to be more regulated in the future?

    They are silent because there is nothing they can propose that doesn't look like a bailout for those that caused the mess in the first place. They should be blaming Bush/Greenspan for not seeing the depth of the problem in the first place. It's a little late to fix the problem when housing prices got to be 2x what they should have been relative to renting a place.

    The problem is not who's at the phone at 3 am, the problem is who's working from 9-5 Monday through Friday...because it isn't Congress and the White House. Even when they have been working, it's for the special interests: unions, business, etc... When's the last time they ever did anything to make being an engineer, scientist, lawyer, accountant, doctor, dentist, etc...more worthwhile of a profession than speculating in real estate? Oh, and doing a one year modification of the AMT doesn't count.

    March 17, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  26. Randy Porter Mo.

    In most circles I would be considered poor, but I swear sometimes I think my own finances show more substance than the candidates offer. I live off of what I make, and only what I make. I save a set percentege every week, and when the dollar falls off, I reinvest it in gold and silver. Personal responsibility is the only thing that has kept my head above water. I`m not a stock broker, and I don`t have all of the answers, but given a choice, I would rather see a bailout for the banks instead of individuals. Maybe if people didn`t try to live so high on the hog, they could pay their bills, and banks wouldn`t be going under. The consumer isn`t a victim of shady lenders. They are only victims of their own greed. If there is a major bailout for individuals, then there will be no lessons learned, and markets will continue to suffer. It shows me the more the candidates hide from economic issues, the less they must know about them. Kind of scary huh?

    March 17, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  27. frank Piccione

    Once again the financial community has demonstrated its absolute lack of concern for, and understanding of, their fiduciary responsibilities. Can anyone really be surprised that we are having this crisis!? Especially since these same financial institutions were the ones pushing high risk loans and approaches in their advertising to the public – and with their employees!

    Wanna look a little further? What happened to these same companies promises to keep credit card interest rates in line with the economy/inflation rate when the usury laws were lifted during the early 80s. 18% interest on a credit card charged the consumer by the same bank offers 3% on savings and minimal inflation!

    March 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  28. Christine

    David I help run a small trucking company and believe me I know just how bad things have become. None of these people will be able to save my company. My main problem with main media including CNN, is that people will not realize until it is to late that he is not ready to lead this country. I am not sure if he will ever be ready. I also respect your views, but everyone leaves alone that black people say they only voted for Obama because he is black. If white people said they only voted for McCain or Hillary because they are white, all media would be up in arms over such statements. Don't you think that is very a very important issue to address, also that many men won't vote for Hillary because she is a woman?

    March 17, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  29. Barbara-Dalton Ga

    David, can the press not make the candidates discuss the economy.
    The average person is having a really hard time making it. I went to
    the supermarket and was amazed at how much I paid at the checkout
    this trip than 1 1/2 week ago. I really feel for the family tha has
    4 or more. My family is small and it took a bite out of me. I live in
    Ga and gas here in my town is 3.20 or more which is cheap compared
    to what other parts of the country are paying. But our beloved president insist that we are not in a recession, boy do I dread it when
    the recession get here.

    March 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  30. Emma

    be happy people, that in my own country of origins, Italy, the situation is even worst.
    Even with the euro so strong salaries are below average adn prices are roaring.
    we're still lucke here in the US believe me! and we've better chances to survie this crisin and go aheah with a new democratic wave....
    Italy it's at its bottom and is only going further down!

    March 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  31. James Klocke

    Uh, excuse me, when are you going to bail me out? I would like to know, so that I can stop worrying.
    I don't get it. The Fed brokers a deal on Sunday, to bail out a so-called billion dollar investment bank, that would have failed do to bad investments, that were based upon real estate speculation.
    Who put this at our door?
    I'm the guy that has paid his mortgage, paid his bills, feeds his family. Now, I have to endure the highest gas prices (ever), food prices that escalate daily, the daily dwindle of my real estate and nest-egg values.
    Who's going to bail me out?
    Oh, but my government is sending a $600 bail out check (I will not get one because I earn more than the $75000 adjusted gross income). Talking about the $600, I have a question. Why did we have to go borrow the money (from China and Japan) to pay for the bail-out checks, and then those that get the checks go and buy something that is made outside the US (like a flatscreen TV) and that money now goes outside the US? Why didn't we just give those that needed it food stamps?
    Let's see, the program is already inplace, it buys many things produced in the US (and these things are nutricious), and it helps those that really need the help, so they can put food on their family table.
    Ok, print all the money you want, and bail out all those on Wall Street. But when you stand there and ask who sold out the US, point the finger at yourself. You have stood by let the real estate run up, borrow and buy stupidly, forget about the pain in Iraq, the loss of those lives that could have made a difference.
    I, sir, have had enough.
    I will live within by budget, I will save money and put my savings in a secure institution. I will care for my family, and they will not burden social services.
    All I ask is do not burden me with a rediculious government, lead by a woman that does not understand we need to pay for entitlements or by a black person (because he is black), or by a 73 year old war veteren. Give me someone that knows how to run it like a business, and to balance the books, budget, and make informed decissions.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  32. Ram

    Yes, Bill Clinton will pick up the phone & try to wake up Hillary. Barrack will be up for a smoking break & will answer if the call if it is on cell. McCain will be awake because he had enough sleep. All three will answer & seek the advice of Goldman Sachs(GS). GS will try to bring in enough funds from foreign countries to prop up the market. Very soon we will find that America is owned by others.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  33. dl

    There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza dear Liza... there's a hole in the bucket dear Liza dear Liza

    Well fix it dear Hillary, dear Johnny, Dear Barry.

    We need people to like something American again. In the seventies we all said never buy something made in Russia or China.

    Now the world says that about us.

    Our standing in the world is important. Getting corporate money out of Washington is important. Calling the American people back to the table is important ...and trickle down economics does not work.

    America needs to be R& D ...America needs to see what is coming down the pipeline and reap the harvest of brain power coming out of these universities.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  34. Marc Postlethwaite

    Michael Ware has been the best journalist on television when it comes to reporting what is "actually' happening in Iraq. AC 360 is to be commended for making him a regular contributor to the show. However, I would like to know why AC 360 hasn't had investigative journalist Greg Palast on the show. Like Ware, Greg Palast provides "to the core" commentary on global politics that you will not find in U.S mainstream media. As a trained economist (University of Chicago), his voice is primarily found in the U.K., reporting for the Guardian newspaper and BBC television.

    I like David Gergen, but it's time to mix it up a little and get some "fresh" commentary. AC 360 has become predictable and is beginning to sound like every other mainstream news program. Its time to start pushing the envelope a little and "poke the bear"!! If the show wants to migrate to a middle of the road play it safe position, you may as well bring back Aaron Brown. What's the difference??

    March 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  35. dl

    It's 3am and the President doesn't get emergency calls at 3 am ...

    With her experience shouldn't she know that?

    March 17, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  36. xtina

    It's not Washington's job to correct the markets. Washington can't even correct themselves.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  37. Donna, Seattle

    I’ve never posted to a blog before, but feel I must comment on the tone of the discourse surrounding the brief excerpts of Rev. Wright’s sermon. The sense of alarm communicated by Mr. Cooper and others conveys complete amnesia regarding the 20th century Black American experience. The only members of your panel who seemed to have an understanding of the broader historical context were Mr. Gergen and Mr. Martin, who noted that the Black church has long been a forum through which our communities have commented on social and political realities, many of which are race based. In short, in church we often ‘tell it like it is.’ What did the Rev. say that wasn’t true? Hillary is White and privileged; Barack is Black, and not from a privileged background. No secrets here.

    Given the events his generation witnessed, The Rev. speaks forcefully about these matters because they are relevant to his experience, and also to those of us who are in Sen. Obama’s age group. Discriminatory activities of the 1950s and 60s, such as suburban expansion, accompanied by the explicitly race based red-lining practices of lenders and realtors, directly affected where our parents’ generation could purchase homes, and where we, their children, grew up. Numerous other examples could be inserted here. The point is to condemn Sen. Obama because the minister speaks emphatically about real, lived experiences is completely unfair.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  38. Peggy Nelson

    I thought you were going to say why is McCain in Iraq when there are pressing economic questions at home. It seems to me that McCain has little to offer on the home front. Also, think about the relationship between the war in Iraq and our horrible economic condition. All of our Iraq spending is going down a hole and unavailable for use here in the U.S. where it could be put to use building infrastructure and in other domestic programs.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  39. xtina

    But the White House and Congress are not responsible for correcting the markets. They can't even correct themselves.

    March 17, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  40. Cindy

    I don't think that any of them are talking about any issue that really matters to us here. All we mainly get from them is their rhetoric that they put out trying to bring down one of the others to make themselves look good. I wish they'd get off of that and get back to the real issues. Because really that is what I want them to discuss. How they plan to deal with the economy, the gas prices, tax cuts, etc. I am tired of all of the fussing back and forth.These campaigns have gotten way off course. I hope they get back on track soon.

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    March 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm |