Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You Are Dead to Me:

Phil Gramm took this trip last week after giving the wrong answer about the state of the economy. The former senator from Texas and top economic adviser to John McCain declared that the country was experiencing merely a "mental recession" and that America become a nation of "whiners." Almost immediately, Gramm's lanky frame was sailing overhead. McCain repudiated Gramm's remarks and said he understood people were experiencing legitimate hardship. Though McCain joked that Gramm would be his ambassador to the outlaw republic of Belarus, the campaign quickly got serious about making it clear that Gramm was banished not just to the outer regions but entirely. McCain's top policy adviser said he wouldn't be talking to Gramm anymore and neither would McCain. On Sunday, one of McCain's top surrogates, Carly Fiorina, sent the message again: "I don't think Sen. Gramm will any longer be speaking for John McCain."

Gramm may have spoken some literal truth, but the reasons for his ejection were obvious. He not only insulted the voters but gave fodder to McCain's critics, who say the GOP nominee doesn't understand the country's economy and therefore can't improve it. Gramm was not the first to be sent aloft in this campaign. Last month, Barack Obama lost Jim Johnson, the head of his vice presidential vetting team, once it was revealed that Johnson had an insider loan from a company Obama had used as the poster child of corporate excess.

4:07 AM