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Pundits & Editorials

The McCain-Palin ticket double-teams Obama and tackles the mortgage crisis. Plus: what to take away from two memorable conventions.

• "Barack Obama, a famous fan of pickup basketball, must recognize his plight," explains Jonah Goldberg. "It's two on one now. John McCain drafted Gov. Sarah Palin, the star point guard from the Wasilla Warriors, to double-team Obama."

David Winston (subscription) cites ratings, polls and voter excitement to contend that the Republicans bested the Democrats on the convention front: "With the end of the convention period, the McCain campaign has a big and well-deserved win under its belt."


• "Now the campaign has become a battle between two different definitions of change," declares David Brooks, reflecting back upon the conventions. "The Obama camp has become the champion of policy change," while "the McCain campaign is the champion of systemic change."

Tara Wall, also assessing the conventions, applauds the GOP for focusing on service to one's country and slams Democrats for their "mounting criticisms" of Republicans "that couldn't be more condescending, divisive, cynical, downright arrogant and anything but humble."

Bob Herbert encourages liberals to start standing up for their own party's identity, rather than being "pummeled" by the right, like they were at the Republican convention.


• "McCain is no silver-tongued orator, as he proved in St. Paul, but it's hard not to be stirred when he speaks of wanting only to serve a cause greater than himself -- until you take a closer look and see that he's running one of the most egocentric presidential campaigns in memory," Eugene Robinson remarks.

• "Thank God for" Palin. "Without her jibes, her sarcasm, her exaggerations, her smug provincialism, her hypocrisy about family and government, her exploitation of mommyhood, and her personal attacks on" Obama, "the Democratic base might never be consolidated," quips Richard Cohen.

• "McCain's campaign acknowledged this weekend that" Palin "is unprepared to be vice president or president of the United States," asserts E. J. Dionne Jr., pointing out the fact that the Alaska governor didn't appear on any Sunday talk shows. "Of course, McCain's people said no such thing. But their actions told you all you needed to know."

• "Reporters should pursue the details of Mrs. Palin's public career; she is a fresh face and there is much to learn about whether she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency," former editor Jay Ambrose concedes in the Washington Times. "But some in the press are now going overboard, and her acceptance speech is already one piece of evidence that she is a gifted leader."


• In the Wall Street Journal, McCain and Palin explain how they're going to prevent future government bailouts of financial institutions, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "Fannie and Freddie's lobbyists succeeded and Congress failed. Under our administration this will not happen again."

• "The actions" regarding energy legislation "of the Democrats in this three-week session will tell us whether they will signal the changes that might come in an Obama administration or they will wilt again," Derrick Z. Jackson projects.

David Ignatius purports that the Bush administration's policy toward the Georgia-Russia conflict bears more resemblance to Obama's "initial, cautious reaction" rather than McCain's "confrontational approach."

William McGurn reviews journalist Bob Woodward's book about the Iraq war, "The War Within," and contends that it provides "further evidence of the obstacles President George W. Bush had to overcome to get his commanders to start winning in Iraq."

From The Editorial Boards...

The Hill insists that this election's conventions will stand out for years to come. "Like so much in this extraordinary election," both conventions "exploded with news and drama."

• "More offshore drilling would be neither the environmental disaster its opponents contend nor the cure-all its supporters assert," USA Today reasons. "It is but one of several steps needed to break the nation's ruinous dependence on foreign oil."

• "The rapid deterioration of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's financial health made a federal takeover of the mortgage giants inevitable," acknowledges the Los Angeles Times. "Yet it still seemed sudden when the government swooped in over the weekend."

• "This bailout is a sad and expensive necessity for the U.S. economy," laments the Washington Post. "It must become an opportunity to rethink not only the future form and function of two failed companies but also U.S. housing policy as a whole."

• The New York Times also fears that "the takeover raises disturbing issues that may get lost in the tumult of the moment."

• "The sum of Treasury's solution is to effectively pass the buck, leaving open the possibility that as the two companies gradually climb out of the pit, members of Congress may decide to continue their private entity backed by government dollars business model without any meaningful reform," the Washington Times fumes.

• The Financial Times, on the other hand, argues that the bailout "will save the world from a financial catastrophe, and it means that the absurd quasi-private structure of Fannie and Freddie can now be put to bed, at long last."

• The San Francisco Chronicle also touches on the international effect of Sunday's bailout, writing that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's decision was directed at "jittery foreign lenders in the Mideast and China, who have bought Fannie and Freddie bonds. America's troubles are the world's troubles."

• The Wall Street Journal slams House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank, D-Mass., for his response Monday to the bailout.

• "Fannie and Freddie must be reduced to a small role in housing and especially one that solely helps the poorest in America," the Christian Science Monitor concludes. "They should never again command two-thirds of new mortgages up to $730,000 or put taxpayers on the hook for billions if they were to fail."

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