While John McCain flits about the country ranting that Obama "pals" around with terrorists, and is going to raise everyone's taxes, and is no doubt a socialist (in McCain's mind, that's a really dirty word), Barack Obama has taken action to begin the discussion on how to get the country's economy back on its feet.
Notice that Obama did not start this discussion in Washington with lobbyists or Wall Street Bankers. The discussion began today in Lake Worth, Florida, at the Palm Beach Community College. The hoi polloi were welcome. You didn't even have to be a Democrat.
It's form was a round-table, and Obama invited the Democratic governors of Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico, and Colorado. Also asked to participate were Eric Schmidt, the chairman and CEO of Google, and former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker, who is an Obama campaign adviser. Finally, he invited a small business owner from Miami to join the group on stage.
Obama led off noting "This is not one of our usual rallies ... This is a more serious discussion about the economy."
As the conversation continued, Obama promised that, if elected, he would invest in the country's infrastructure. He would invest in renewable energy. He said that it was critical to focus on job-creation and how to curtail the rapidly increasing costs of healthcare.
We're in a crisis, he said, and thus we need "the best ideas, the brightest minds, the most innovative solutions from every corner of this country."
Victoria Villalba, who owns Miami's Victoria and Associates Career Services, joined in the conversation by joking "I'm a small business owner and I'm not Joe the Plumber!" She went on to explain to Obama that she pays the cost of her employee's healthcare plans and is concerned about the rising costs. Insurance for one 61-year old employee costs her $1,200 per month.
Republicans, of course, mocked the summit, and claimed, again, that Obama's policies would raise taxes. Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman, said this: "During the last eight years, the federal budget has grown by 40 percent and the American people have seen how well that kind of change works -- yet Barack Obama is simply offering more of the same."
Boy, I'm confused. Is he talking about Obama or McCain? McCain has been a Bush sidekick during those eight years; has voted for Bush budgets during those eight years; has voted against financial regulation during those eight years; and has said he plans to continue most of the current Bush agenda if elected, including tax cuts for the rich.
And Bounds has the gall to claim that Obama offers "more of the same"?