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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain to Wall Street: Drop Dead

Economic and political analyst Andy Martin maps out John McCain's only road to the White House: cut loose from the Bush Administration and make Wall Streeters the issue, not Main Streeters. Make Sallie Krawcheck the rallying cry. Remember Sallie and "Just say no to the old boys' bailout." Martin says McCain can turn adversity into opportunity and score a knockout blow on Barack Obama.

Senator McCain: Just say "no" to the Wall Street bailout

Your biggest liability can become your greatest opportunity

"Krawcheck front and center!"

Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”

We’re not always first because we’re #1;
We’re #1 because we are always first.





(NEW YORK)(September 24, 2008) During the summer I told a number of groups that the only way Senator John McCain could win was to pick a woman for vice president. McCain was listening to me. He chose Sister Sarah and, until last week, he was on track to win. Until the phony Wall Street crisis erupted, that is.

A new Washington Post poll now shows Barack Obama opening up a decisive lead based on the amazing belief that Obama is more competent to manage the economy.

Obama, who has never managed anything without "mad bomber" William Ayers at his side, is not even competent to impose his own socialist worldview on the American economy. If the economy is bad now, it will be much worse under an Obama maladministration.

But how does McCain counteract the pro-Obama media hysteria over the economy?

He must speak clearly and simply and directly: he must announce in no uncertain terms his total opposition to the Wall Street bailout.

First, over the past year I have repeatedly pointed out that the current financial crisis is a "manufactured" crisis. The urgency was created by maladroit steps to rein in sub-prime mortgages when they posed no threat to the overall economy. One bad step led to another. We have rather clumsily managed to topple our own financial dominoes. The mess is Wall Street's fault, not George Bush's responsibility.

Second, a "crisis" of "faith" or "confidence" is by definition a false crisis. Faith and confidence are tropes for escapism and exaggeration or even manipulation. Omaha investor Warren Buffet, who is a legendary bottom fisher on Wall Street, is investing $5 billion in Goldman Sachs. Is he investing to receive the sub-par return that many have predicted Goldman will earn now that the firm has become a federally regulated bank holding company? Doubtful. Buffet knows that panics by definition lead to excesses, and excesses lead to opportunities.

The liquidation of Lehman Brothers is being handled on an orderly basis. Buyers are there to invest in the firm.

Third, McCain and his staff have to realize and admit that Obama has made some cautious but sensible statements. Obama opposes golden parachutes, supports financial incentives to small taxpayers as part of any bailout, and supports extensive bipartisan oversight instead of the blank check requested by the treasury secretary. Obama is playing classic ball control now that our national misfortune has rebounded to his political advantage.

Fourth, although McCain has made one TV commercial linking Obama to Frank Raines, the former Fannie Mae head, this is not a time for token spots to be used as talking points by the cable TV bobbleheads. McCain has to relentlessly hammer the fact that Obama has been in bed with the very people that orchestrated the financial collapse and who were the captains of greed on Wall Street. Ad after ad after ad. McCain has to base his entire campaign on exposing the perfidiousness and conflicts between Obama's professed economic policies and the political realities of his fund-raising operation.

The timing of this "crisis" of "faith" and "confidence" is almost enough to make you wonder if Obama's supporters on Wall Street manufactured the meltdown on the eve of the election to help elect their man. Why a crisis now?

McCain needs to attack Obama on the cash Obama received from Wall Streeters and Fannie Mae. McCain has made thrusts in this direction, but from now on he has to focus his entire campaign on exposing Obama as the man who was Wall Street's favorite before the "collapse," and is still the man Wall Street wants to win. Why has Wall Street been so consistently behind Obama? Why indeed?

Next, McCain must play the female card. And play it to win. Sallie Krawcheck was just pushed out at Citigroup ("The Citi never sleeps") because she favored more protection for customers and less protection for bankers and brokers. Make her a heroine. Make her a parable for the greed and irredentist arrogance on Wall Street. "They still haven't learned their lesson," McCain should bellow at Wall Street and Broadway. "They dumped Krawcheck because she wanted to protect the public. And they want us to bail them out? No way!"

Tell people that "one courageous woman is worth a Wall Street of Gordon Gekkos." Play the sex card. Play it hard. The women will love it. Krawchek was the most prominent woman left on Wall Street, and she was unceremoniously dumped because she favored protecting investors. These banker bastards still want to screw the public. They screwed Krawcheck. And we want the American people to bail them out? Remember Krawchek and Just Say No.

If you think the Palin card worked, the Krawcheck card will dynamite Obama the same way. Maybe more so. The last thing Obama & Company are expecting from you—given your unsteady responses over the past week--is a bold counterattack with a woman at the fore. Krawchek front and center. Attack. The brave woman against the greedy men. I love it.

Just listen to Andy, and we'll win this one for the Gipper. We military guys have to stick together. No one ever won a battle with half measures; no one ever won an election on defense. Krawchek front and center. Attack.

Finally, McCain has to reduce the "crisis" issue to a sound bite: "Just say no to the Wall Street bailout." This is not a time for subtlety or ambiguity or professorial rumination. This is a time for clarity.

I was trained as an economist at the University of Illinois. One thing economists do when faced with unattractive options is to balance which choice will impose the least burden on the economy (or taxpayers, or whomever is the focus of concern). You look at the risks on each side, and try to see which way the scale tips. In my opinion, taking more risks with Wall Street is less risky than giving Wall Street a blank check to subsidize past excesses. The fact that Buffet is buying $5 billion of Goldman stock and there were plenty of buyers for Lehman's assets shows there is money on Wall Street to bail out Wall Street. Taxpayers not needed.

Clearly, the federal government faces unattractive options. But the current bailout proposal favors the rich and disadvantages working families. Bankers and brokers would be rewarded, without significant punishment for their atrocious greed; working people who are struggling would get virtually nothing. Obama sees this opening, which is why he is asking that relief for families in distress be part of any package. But, as usual, Obama is afraid to be bold. Basketball player that he is, Obama feels he is in the lead and he should go into a "stall" and protect that lead.

The only way to beat the stall in basketball is to steal the ball. It is not enough for McCain to match Obama with incremental improvements in the proposed bailout bill (more oversight, no golden parachutes, more this, more that, more technicalities and legislative minutiae).

McCain needs to be bold and decisive and break with the Bush administration. McCain must turn his biggest liability into his greatest opportunity.

McCain needs to say that we must not tax ordinary Americans to preserve extreme wealth and privilege for a handful of top executives and financial operators. "Wall Street should suffer so that Main Street can survive," McCain can state. "Main Street should not suffer so Wall Street can survive."

Next, it is essential to realize that the protective steps that were taken in the past, starting with last year's overreaction to the sub-prime situation, and culminating in this year's Bear Stearns takeover, failed. Why should we believe Treasury Secretary Paulsen now, when he has been consistently wrong in the past? Merely throwing bailout billions at Goldman Sachs' favored clients (Treasury Secretary Paulsen is a former Goldman chief) will not end the crisis or restore confidence. Pain will be suffered.

The question is whether we inflict pain on the privileged or on the powerless. McCain must say that if someone has to endure pain, it should be the privileged, not the powerless. Warren Buffet has billions more to invest where his opening $5 billion came from. Let him take the risk, not the little people.

"I speak for the American people," McCain should say, "Not Wall Street, not brokers, not bankers, and certainly not the malefactors of great wealth who have been exposed as confidence men without confidence in their own machinations."

Only if McCain takes command can he win. If he goes half way and meets Obama half way, McCain cannot overcome the natural advantage that flows not from Obama's assets but rather from McCain' s liabilities as the representative of a party that is unfairly blamed for the mess on Wall Street. McCain has to make clear that the Wall Street scandals were a bipartisan whorehouse, and that Obama was in skivvies when the roof collapsed. Obama and Fannie Mae and Frank Raines were in bed together when no one was watching. Now the whole world is watching.

McCain must expose the truth and not be intimidated by the media spin machine that is anti-American and anti-Republican.

Senator McCain, take command. Just say no to the Wall Street bailout: "Main Street should not suffer to bail out Wall Street. The powerless should not have to pay higher taxes to subsidize the excesses and failures of the privileged class. I work for the American family, not billionaires and brokers. If Wall Street is good enough and safe enough for Warren Buffet, Wall Street does not need the nickels and dimes of working Americans. We should ban executive dining rooms and limousines for any bailout firm and watch how fast they find their own cash. Let the people who made this mess pay to clean up their failures. And remember what they did to Sallie Krawcheck."

This is the only way you can win. Do it. The American people will stand with you. They won’t desert you if you don’t desert them. Just tell Wall Street: Drop Dead.


Readers of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask confirm this book is the intelligent bestseller about Barack Obama, and the only practical handbook on his unfitness for the presidency. Buy it.
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The Committee of One Million to Defeat Barack Obama limits itself to $100 maximum contributions; there are no bundlers, fat cats or illegal contributions. Obama is opposed to everything America stands for," says Executive Director Andy Martin. "But while Obama has raised more than a third of a BILLION dollars, his opponents have raised virtually nothing. We can't just sit back and expect John McCain to do the job all alone. Americans can either contribute now, or pay later. If we do not succeed, Obama will."
FULL DISCLOSURE: I have decided to oppose Barack Obama's election and have become Executive Director of The Stop Obama Coalition, and By default, I have become the national leader of the anti-Obama movement. I am not acting as either a Democrat or Republican. I have had no contact whatsoever with the McCain Campaign. The views expressed are entirely independent of McCain. I am not a member of any political organization. I am acting as an American citizen who sincerely believes Obama is not the man we need in the Oval Office. We are running a very dynamic and aggressive campaign against Obama. We know how. We are the recognized experts in the field. I will, however, continue to write my columns for /s/ Andy Martin
Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He is currently based in New York selling his new book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2008. Martin comments on regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.

His columns are also posted at; Andy is the author of Obama: The Man Behind The Mask, published in July 2008, see

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