Sarah Palin and John McCain on AIG

This was "unscripted", from Sarah Palin:

Disappointed that taxpayers are called upon to bailout another one. Certainly AIG though with the construction bonds that they’re holding and with the insurance that they are holding very, very impactful to Americans so you know the shot that has been called by the Feds it’s understandable but very, very disappointing that taxpayers are called upon for another one.

That’s via Andrew Sullivan.  It’s the phrase "very, very impactful" I object to.  The point about construction surety bonds is actually correct, as indeed AIG did issue them and it doesn’t seem that any regulation or state authority will make good those guarantees (readers, correct me if I am in error but I can find no record of such guarantees).  That means a lot of people bought insurance against adverse construction events and will be left without that protection.

Of course this matters less at lower levels of construction.

The real lesson of this quotation is that the Republicans have no good language for discussing recent events.  They’re not allowed to say anything that sounds like "showing sympathy for Wall Street," so they have to find someone else to show sympathy for but they can’t turn to traditional Democratic rhetoric about how an unregulated capitalist economy is failing us.  Citing the construction bonds is like worrying that the financial crisis will postpone the retirement of many professors.  Yes that is true but it’s odd (though not unprecedented) if that’s the first thing that comes to your mind or for that matter to your talking points.

Here is John McCain on the crisis, again unscripted, from The Today Show:

LAUER: So if we get to the point middle of the week as we heard in that report where AIG might have to file for bankruptcy, they’re on their own?

McCAIN: Well…quote, "on their own"…we have to – we cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else…this is something we’re gonna have to work through — there’s too much corruption, there’s too much access, we can fix it, I believe in America – we can have a 9/11 commission such as we had after 9/11, ’cause this is a huge crisis and we can come up with fixes and we can make sure that every American has a safer future and that is to make them know that their bank deposits are safe and insured.

Here is more of the session.  He did worse than she did and that’s after decades on the national scene.


Comments for this post are closed