Is it deja vu when the same words are repeated by a different person? Maybe not, but President Barack Obama seems to be channeling Sen. John McCain — all over again. When asked this week if the fundamentals of the economy were sound, Obama’s economic adviser Christine Romer replied:
“Of course they are sound. The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have good capital stock, we have technology,” she said.
Rewind to the presidential campaign a few months ago when one supposedly naive John McCain observed:
“There has been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street. People are frightened by these events. Our economy I think, the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult times.”
And of course the “fundamentals” part was what was met with fodder outside of the full context, including this quip from then-Senator Obama.
“Senator McCain, what economy are you talking about?”
Which one is Obama talking about? When the now-President Obama supported Ms. Romer’s statement by offering:
“If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy, all the outstanding companies, workers, all the innovation and dynamism in this economy, then we’re going to get through this,” Mr. Obama said.
What fundamentals? According to Obama, there are no fundamentals. At least not strong ones. And uh, isn’t what he just said exactly what he ruthlessly lambasted McCain for during the campaign? Am I missing something?
The Obama campaign further capitalized on McCain’s comments by running a television ad last September entitled “Fundamentals!” It questioned: The fundamentals of the economy are strong? And asked: How can John McCain fix what he doesn’t know is broken? How can Obama’s memory escape him so quickly? Especially when the other part of his economic team, just last week, said the fundamentals are NOT strong. Which one is it? Strong or not strong?
Parsing words when called on the carpet Monday morning, Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs, attempted to re-define the meaning of “strong”:
“There’s a definitional difference between sound and strong.”
It would almost be laughable if it weren’t a repeat of another recent attempt by Obama to channel John McCain. Just last month, the president admitted that the economy wasn’t his strong suit either:
Obama: “I’m learning about the economy, I’m not a trained economist.”
McCain: “I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.”
For all the McCain voters who thought their guy lost the election, have no fear, it seems he’s been elected after all.
—Tara Wall is editor of TheConservatives.com