Tom Friedman and Frank Rich in their Sunday columns both made nods to the constraints a serious economic crisis presents. Friedman wrote "I can't remember a presidential campaign that was so disconnected from the actual challenges of governing that will confront the winner the morning after." He then goes on to cite Michael Mandelbaum, who wrote "Democracy's Good Name," saying "It is not a wealth transfer from rich to poor that the Bush administration will be remembered for. It is a wealth transfer from the future to the present."
Rich, in a column largely about race that expects an Obama victory, ended by saying "we'll soon remember that the country is in a deep ditch, and that we turned to the black guy not only because we hoped he would lift us up but because he looked like the strongest leader to dig us out."
Whoever wins gets what the Wall Street Journal called a "Dubious Prize;" an economy in deep freeze. It compares this downturn not to 2001, but to the 1980 recession that hammered President Carter, where GDP sank almost 8 percent one quarter.
It doesn't help that Monday's news included
- U.S. factory orders dropped 2.5 percent in September
- car sales fell to their worst level in 25 years.
- China's economy is slowing down, and while the country has massive currency reserves, it can't stop every factory from closing.