I hope McCain will confront Obama with his opposition to increased regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
McCain's Fannie and Freddie Connections
John McCain railed against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the campaign trail today, saying that the CEOs that led the lenders to ruin "deserve nothing" and should have to pay back their severance packages. In an Wall Street Journal op-ed co-bylined by his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, McCain suggested bold reforms for Fannie and Freddie that would "terminate future lobbying, which was one of the primary contributors to this great debacle."
If that's the case, McCain should look first to his campaign staffers as the cause of that debacle. One of them was Fannie Mae's head of lobbying, and spread tens of millions of dollars around Washington in the form of lobbying contracts. A number of McCain staffers were on the receiving end of those contracts, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars each from the lenders to rep their interests. And McCain's campaign manager served as president of a lobbying association that fought to protect Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from the sort of regulation that McCain is now proposing.
In McCain's op-ed in the Journal, he and Palin wrote:
For years, Congress failed to act and it is deeply troubling that what we are seeing is an exercise in crisis management rather than sound planning, and at great cost to taxpayers.
We promise the American people that our administration will be different. We have long records of standing up to special interests…
But McCain's own campaign staffers are those special interests, a fact that casts doubt on both McCain's hiring judgment and his ability to pursue tough reforms of Fannie and Freddie.