Desperate to resuscitate his diminishing hopes for the White House, John McCain during tonight's presidential town hall meeting dramatically reversed course on a mortgage bailout for home owners. This spring, McCain adamantly stated "it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers." Now with his presidential campaign and the economy in dire straits alike, John McCain decided to open the federal wallet after all.
"Some Americans bought homes they couldn't afford, betting that rising prices would make it easier to refinance later at more affordable rates," he said. Later he added that "any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren't."
But right out of the gate tonight, McCain conjured up a massive new program to save his ailing campaign, if not Americans on the brink of foreclosure. Now, he insisted, the government should buy existing mortgages and reprice them at new market rates. That's a far cry from his hard line only months ago. On March 25, McCain pronounced that when all else fails for distressed homeowners, Americans should just join the rapidly growing ranks of those:
"Doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time."
Now down if not out in the polls, McCain has dropped his past moralizing about not helping either "big banks or small borrowers." Of course, all along John McCain was only interested in helping himself.
UPDATE: Sadly for John McCain, he chose tonight of all nights to praise eBay and its former CEO Meg Whitman as his possible choice for Treasury Secretary. On Monday, eBay announced it was laying off 1,600 employees, 10% of its entire workforce.
(This piece was crossposted at Perrspectives.)