James is right, of course, that it was stupid for Gramm to say it. Then again, Gramm showed in 1996 that he was politically tone deaf. Running around the country singing the virtues of a guy named “Dickie Flatt” won’t exactly get a man elected president.Â
James is also right that the McCain camp needs to pay attention to the fallout from this. It is beyond a doubt that McCain needs to fight for hearts and minds on economic issues, and that he is not very good at talking the economi game even when his policy prescriptions (no earmarks, excellent health care plan, etc) are superb. This is all the more reason for him to pick somebody for Vepp who can make the case on economics. Tim Pawlenty just doesn’t cut it on this front — not on substance, where he is not conservative enough, and not on style, where it’s almost impossible to remember five minutes later what it was that he just said.
Solution: Cox, or Kasich, or Ryan, or Sanford, or even Herman Cain.
All that said, Gramm remains right that Americans had become whiners long, LONG before they had any right to be so. Two years ago we were experiencing the greatest economy in the history of the world, and yet all we ever heard was whining. It still makes me sick.