Mission critical: The penultimate debate
(Getty Images) On a day Americans were proclaimed to have lost a collective $2 trillion from their retirement accounts, ex-fighter pilot John McCain gets one of his last chances to convince voters he can pull the economy from its tailspin. He and Barack Obama debate tonight in Nashville. Who'll come out singing?
Obama's campaign Monday premiered a 13-minute film on an episode McCain himself has called one of his darkest -- not the Hanoi Hilton, but the Keating Doghouse, where McCain dwelled in the late '80s, rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee as one of the venal senators dubbed the "Keating Five."
Charles Keating, kiddies, was a corrupt savings-and-loan exec who pressured five senators, including McCain, into not probing his S&L's illegal investments in dreadful real estate deals. Regulators found out anyway, and Keating and his pal Michael Milken went to jail. (Another of the Keating Five was Sen. John Glenn, the astronaut. How the mighty fall.)
McCain copped to all this in his memoir, "Faith of my Fathers," writing at length how dumb it was to risk his honor and future for maybe $112,000 in campaign cash. So unless Obama has more up his sleeve -- unless he plans to jail a few bankers, something that might not keep me from eating cat food at 62 but that no one would mind terribly -- it's not quite an "October surprise."
But what's your take on the debate? On the campaign? Let us know!