This is weird. I knew I liked the way both Obama and McCain think in a lot of ways — that’s why we endorsed both of them in January. But I didn’t know I was synched with them to this degree…
I wrote, for tomorrow’s paper, an editorial on the House’s appalling failure on Monday. As I did so, I made a conscious decision to refer to the rejected plan as a "rescue," not a "bailout." I hadn’t done that before. It’s just that in the process of thinking through what ought to happen, it occurred to me that whatever the Congress eventually passes, it’s no good if it’s just a "bailout;" it needs to be a rescue.
After I was done with the piece, I checked the wires to see what the presidential candidates had said since earlier this morning. Way down in the AP roundup story, I found this quote:
"The first thing I would do is say, ‘Let’s not call it a bailout. Let’s call it a rescue," McCain told CNN. He said "Americans are frightened right now" and political leaders must give them an immediate solution and a longer-term approach to the problem.
Then I saw this separate story:
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday called for Americans to get behind attempts to salvage a $700 billion rescue plan for the financial sector, saying that if Wall Street fails ordinary people will also be hurt.
"This is no longer just a Wall Street crisis. It’s an American crisis, and it’s the American economy that needs this rescue plan," Obama told about 12,000 people at a rally at the University of Nevada at Reno.
Obama said Congress should put aside politics — he didn’t mention GOP rival John McCain by name during his remarks — and should act on the legislation quickly.
"To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say: Step up to the plate and do what’s right for this country," he said. "And to all Americans, I say this: If I am president of the United States, this rescue plan will not be the end of what we do to strengthen this economy. It will only be the beginning."
You’ll notice that not just Obama, but the AP, was using the new official word.
So it looks like everybody got the memo. Except there was no memo. This is the kind of thing that makes disaffected people think the media — and political leaders, who after all communicate through the media — are conspiring. But it just happens.