In Race About Crisis, Obama, McCain Mirror Hoover, FDR

We know their styles, but economy is changing too fast for policy specifics
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Oct 10, 2008 8:08 AM CDT
In this Oct. 29, 1932 file photo, Franklin D. Roosevelt as he starts on a campaign tour. US economic invulnerability has vanished, along with "the savings of thrifty men and women," he told a crowd.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – We should quit trying to pin the candidates down on policy specifics, writes EJ Dionne in the Washington Post. They’ve given us a “clear sense of who they are and how they would lead,” and that’s all we can ask. The economic crisis is moving so fast that “new ideas could become obsolete in a few days.”

This is not the moment, writes Dionne, to quibble over how the candidates will pay for their programs. We can worry about deficits during boom times, but in a recession, spending is the solution, not the problem. Like FDR, Barack Obama has emphasized no particular big program, but the need not to panic. And like Herbert Hoover, John McCain hopes to win by sowing panic about his opponent.