One of the most startling moments during the otherwise tedious presidential debate last night has garnered surprisingly little attention. Maybe I’m easily amused but I laughed out loud at John McCain’s answer to Tom Brokaw’s question about whom he’d appoint to take over the vastly expanded powers of the Treasury Secretary. McCain hastily anticipated what he imagined might be Barack Obama’s choice, Warren Buffett, and then bumbled around trying to avoid the pitfall of naming his economic mentor, Phil Gramm. Finally McCain came up with a nominee he’d like to put in charge of salvaging the US economy – Meg Whitman, the former CEO of the online flea-market Ebay. It’s not the first time he’s suggested that.
What in the world would explain such an absurd choice? Before running the flea market, Whitman worked for toy-maker Hasbro. Does McCain think American voters need to be distracted like children from the economic hard times ahead? Or will we all be reduced to hawking second-hand junk just to get through this mess? Does he now identify the “fundamentals” that are so “sound” as the American yard sale? Or is the Goldman Sachs Bailout Bill to him nothing more than a giant white elephant sale?
Inquiring minds at unbossed (at least) would like to know.