June 5th, 2008
08:30 AM ET

McCain's extreme political economy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.mccainthumbs.jpg]
Steve Turnham
AC360° Producer

John McCain may be short on cash, but he's making every penny count.

Just take a look at the last couple of days campaigning, when McCain cleverly squeezed out some high value airtime, without paying a dime.

Take Tuesday. The McCain campaign convinced the national media that his prime time speech was gonna be big - I mean really big - a general election kick off speech that would define the next phase of the campaign.

It didn't exactly live up to the hype. McCain went only a little further in breaking from President Bush, and a little further in going after Barack Obama.

But none of that mattered: McCain reached an audience of millions tuning in for the night's main event, and most major newspapers carried stories about the speech that made it sound a little more dramatic than it actually was.

The event can't have cost much either: his speech was delivered before a smallish crowd in a smallish room in an out of the way conference center in Kenner, Louisiana. And it followed a fundraiser.

Wednesday, another nifty bit of political economy: McCain proposed a series of town hall meetings with Barack Obama in the spirit of elevating the national debate.

Nothing would please McCain's bankers more. Town Halls are a lot cheaper than TV ads.

"I also suggested that we travel together on the same plane," he added. "It'll probably help out on energy savings. Given our expenses, I know my campaign would agree to it."

Filed under: Education • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Bill

    How can average Americans begin a national revolt to get the self centered politicians to start taking steps to stop with thier pork projects, stop spending money we don't have and bring this country back to being the America we remember?

    June 6, 2008 at 1:42 am |
  2. Charles, Sitting in privileged places myself

    I respect anyone who has given their service in war and especially someone who suffered being tortured as Sen. McCain has. With that respect I have not found it logical to say that one who has suffered is best qualified on the merits of their suffering to head a given endeavor. With that said, I wish people would stop using Senator McCain's suffering as proof that he is best suited for the task at hand. If it had not been openly aired that there were many things flawed in our (America's) attack on Iraq along w/ lies then maybe Sen. McCain's outspoken position on Iraq would seem that his experience has marked him WISE.
    Sen. McCain has spoken to say that he is oblivious, at least slightly so, in being knowledgable on the economy. Let's, if it is possible, be honest....if this statement had been made by Sen. Clinton or Obama their campaigns would have taken a tail spin. I have listened to Rush Limbaugh comment on Sen. Obama's speech when Sen. Obama declared he will be the Democratic nominee. I listened to the speech and I must say that whether you are a Dem. or Rep. or Indep. it was a Great, powerful and uplifting speech...that's if you're voting for him or not it was good stuff. Mr. Limbaugh slammed points that only represented goodness for all Americans; so much so I didn't get his point that he started to sound most ideotic till he had to put someone else on the air in his stead. Of course some would say "that's his job" but I have not heard the same dogma on networks that seem to lean toward Sen. Obama.
    I will make this early observation, the only seeming advantage that Sen. McCain has to Sen. Obama will be the color of his skin. Oh, I know that many of you reading feel the impulse to strongly disagree but in terms of caliber between the two candidates with all of Sen. McCain's alledged qualifications he is out matched. If Sen. Obama were the same man in different skin even Republicans (other than Rush) would hail him as a political wonder and many do. This candidate (Sen. Obama) has made sure that he is not in debt to big business so that once elected he can truly serve the people of this great nation and not the big industries like those making billions from oil (not just in Arab nations) at the expense of the American economy.
    When Sen. McCain comes to give the condescending pat on the head to Sen. Obama saying "he's a smart young fella" let him come with more than medals that have nothing to do with making policy and more than time which calls to question time devoted to voting for bad decisions implemented by Bush over and over again.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:34 am |
  3. Gene Marine Teddy

    With all of this "Hope and Change" Instead of Larry King, et all., talking to political pundits, how about some people in economics to explain how the President will really change things, How will he bring jobs back from offshore, lowering the price of a barrel of oil? These are really some of the important things that can help put the economy on a right track. Make most things in the USA and not in China. Further, talking to the despots in the Middle East, give me a break.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  4. Lion of Texas

    It is amazing to me that Jim McCain and Republican Party faithfuls express so much concern about Obama's experience. Where were these folks when Bush ran for President with about 2 years experience as Governor of Texas? Let Obama pick a running mate before you put him down because of his age. One hundred years of experience does not guarantee a better president. It has been said there is nothing worse than a old fool. I would remind the zealous McCain supporters and so called religious, Pharisee-type conservatives of what Paul said to Timothy:

    Don't let anyone make fun of you, just because you are young. Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith, and purity.

    Go Obama! We are behind you.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:24 am |
  5. Raymond Duke Texas

    I am not concerned about Jon McCains economic problem. The republicans will fit him with a vp that will tell him what to do with that. I don't like the republicans in the sense that they are for corporate america first. I don't like the democrats because instead of just helping the old, children "Americans" and disabled and the people who are poor because of no fault of their own. They want to give a handout to every slug that won't work because they are too lazy, drug addicts,boozers and women who want to have a dozen kids only to get the checks from them and everybody that is not a citizen. What ever happen to the "old yellow dog democrats" hijacked by latta drinking liberals who want to save every soul whether it is worth saving or not.

    June 5, 2008 at 11:18 pm |
  6. Kent Fitzsimmons,Illinois

    It's so funny that McCain pretends he has no money. Hmmmmmmmm 100 years in congress and you have no money? Yeah right.

    McCain needs some real help in his public speaking ability. It is very very obvious how uncomfortable he is at the microphone. Wait til you gotta speak after Obama .....lol........that will be rich...............

    June 5, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  7. Filbert Romero

    If the situation between Obama and Clinton were reversed I'm certain his supporters would be demanding he be the VP choice. They would argue how historic his campaign was and how he got more votes. I could see the NAACP, Jessee Jackson, and Al Sharpton all threatening to boycott the election. Blacks have learned that agression is the key to success. It's very hard to believe that 95% of blacks who voted in the primaries think Obama is the very best candidate. Clinton's average 65% from women and seniors is more realistic and demonstrates they have given much thought to their votes. Bah humbug!!!!!!

    June 5, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  8. Chas

    Why doesn't the media show pictures of how small McCain's crowds are? Why not pan out instead of keeping a tight shot. Isn't the size of his crowds news? It has been talked about but a picture is worth 1000 words. No?

    June 5, 2008 at 9:18 pm |
  9. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Does Obama pay you people to spout off your hatred, or is it just a quality that comes naturally to you? Intelligent discussions of issues are that, intelligent discussions. What I see here is vehement rhetoric. You convince no one of anything but your own prejudices and oftentimes ignorance of the reality of facts. I don't think some of you would know how to have a rational discussion and listen to another side if your life depended on it. And sadly, in this case it might if our national security is threatened by Obama's isolationistic and pacifistic policies. This used to be a pleasant, civilized blog at one time. Hopefully after November it will be once again. At least you're showing Obama supporters' true colors. And for the record, YouTube is about as valid as Wikipedia.

    June 5, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  10. Pat M

    You people who would even consider voting for McSame need to do an assessment on yourselves! After Eight Years of Bush you'd even consider an Old Age Weathered Republican !!!

    He'll give you : War As Usual Till McSame decides different – No Economic Experience – Mortgage Closeures Will Increase – Economy Will Hit It's Lowest Ever – Old Politics – Old Washington – Our Military Heroes and Veterans will be thrown under the bus – No Health Care Program except for the Elite – No Program for Education !!! Oh But then you'll have Barbie and Ken in their Senior Years to look at with disgust !!!!

    GIVE YOUR HEADS A GOOD SHAKE !!!! If you vote for McSame I hope he gets in – as you will royally deserve what you get!

    June 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  11. Rob

    he is welcome to all the free coverage he wants if that is the type of speech were going to see. almost every pundit has called that the worst speech they've ever seen and who was responsible for that awful green background that makes him look even pastier and older. keep it up McCain you're making it way too easy.

    June 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  12. penny

    Hello Anderson,
    With all due respect, McCain is scary. I am glad OBAMA said "NO" to going to the war zone with him. He is a weird vietnam veteran. Even today most of those guys have issues. For the "GOOD OF THE COUNTRY", he should forget about his presidential aspirations. Another thing he is too OLD and scary.

    June 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  13. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    For those of you that suffer from insomnia I recommend taping a McCain speech then at night when you go to bed start the tape. You'll be asleep in minutes!

    June 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  14. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain and Obama have the same, with 2 differences, tough policy against Iran. Either one of them would 'obliterate' Iran if they hit Israel with a WMD.
    One; difference is Obama has a better record on recognising, first that Iran would be a threat and, then, how big of a threat.
    Two; Obama is going to make sure the rest of us in the World see that a strong diplomatic effort is attempted before taking action.
    Actually, three; Obama has a chance to move Iran towards listening to the Free World and McCain would not.
    Not to 'attack' Mr McCain, a former Captain, but his choices in this campaign do not reflect a man who makes good strategic choices, (chasing Hagee and Parsley, that ugly green background, flip flopping on tax cuts for the rich, inane tax holiday ideas, falsely saying it would be a 'catastrophe for America to get out of Iraq, and touting a guided, lack of proper deployment in Afghanistan, costly heavily armed walk on an Iraq street as proof it is 'safe')
    It's not like he was Admiral, like his dad.
    The World and America will be a much safer place with Obama as Commander in Chief.

    June 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm |
  15. Michael, NC

    Annie and Cindy-
    good analysis. He knows how to get EVERY penny out of a dollar, and that's what it takes to be an effective candidate. It shows how good he is at winning over a group with minimal effort and getting the best out of a small-but promising- opportunity.
    it is really cool to hear from someone who used to work with David. He seems like a really level headed individual, and I always enjoy his input. It is neat to read your comment all the way from HONG KONG! 😉

    June 5, 2008 at 12:06 pm |
  16. Michelle

    The speech was a disaster. The gaffes are all
    over youtube.

    June 5, 2008 at 11:56 am |
  17. Susan

    Senator McCain has always been against government waste. I guess he is applying that same thinking to his campaign events. Good for him !!!

    He is taking his case right to the people in smaller events. They are more personal with less distractions, so that you can really get the feel of his message.

    I am glad that Senator Obama is going to do some town hall meetings with Senator McCain. They will be interesting to watch and very informative. Can not wait !

    A plane-pool. Even former VP Al Gore would be impressed ! Way to Go Senator McCain.


    June 5, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    McCain will have Bush's money behind him and you better believe it is for the benefit of Jeb Bush. McCain is trying to fool people into believe he's separating himself from Bush and is trying to hide Bush's money. Won't work.

    June 5, 2008 at 11:24 am |
  19. Larry

    He has a better selection of candidates for jobs than does Obama.

    June 5, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  20. angie

    mccain uses tax payers money to campaign!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! remember when asked about the economy he said that was not one of his strong points now i give mccain respect for his war time and being a vetern but a presidental canidate that admits the economy is not one of his strong points well that kinda makes me nervous and as i see it his views on the economy are the same as bush and look at our economy today i dont see mccain moving this country foward i think we will stay the same if not get worse

    June 5, 2008 at 10:27 am |
  21. Debby Rundell

    A former employee of David Gergen trying to blog him from Hong Kong. Saw this a.m.HK time you were blogging tonight, Dave. I have been wearing my Obama for President button for weeks now and going to market with a bumper sticker on my trolley. And yes I have another little white dog with me! Everyone smiles with support - stuffy ex-pats to Cantonese merchants. Few of the vendors read English but they see his face and even recognize the name. My Pakistani guard, a devout Moslem migrant worker here said until now he felt all politicians were the same and never cared about anyone but themselves. Now he is filled with hope that just maybe Obama can help this world to be a better place for all. And NO CLINTON!

    June 5, 2008 at 9:58 am |
  22. Cindy

    Yep...it seems that McCain gambled and it payed off big. It looks as if he pulled the wool over the media's eyes and got some free coverage of what was supposed to be a knock out speech but wasn't. And he was talked about and not forgotten on a day that was supposed to be Obama's day.

    Hey...if he is that good with money let's see what he can do with our economy and the governments spending.


    June 5, 2008 at 9:40 am |
  23. Corinne

    McCain can do it just like Obama did....get the media on his side and nothing he or anyone around him does or says can harm him...then just let them beat that drum. For my part: Here's CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN: I'm changing to McCain and I'm changing my source for "news" – replacing CNN's OP-ED's.

    June 5, 2008 at 8:57 am |
  24. Annie Kate

    Why pay for coverage when you don't have to – its nice to see a politician that knows how to stretch a dollar and ride the other party's coattails into some free coverage. In government frugal is good so I hope McCain continues to be frugal and teach the rest of Congress how to be also.
    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 5, 2008 at 8:55 am |