Will it enable Obama to refocus more strongly on the economy?
The economic and financial impacts of the failure of Lehman Brothers have been rippling outwards today as stock markets around the world are sharply down (with the FTSE dropping almost 4% and the Dow currently down about 2.5%).
But what will be the political consequences of the events on Wall Street?
With the polls and the markets narrowing in the White House race, is this one “event” that actually helps the Democrats and could allow Obama to redouble his campaign efforts on the economy?
The conventional thinking is that if the focus of the campaign shifts towards the economy, it favours the Democrats, while if security/foreign affairs are to the fore, this is a plus for the GOP. “It’s the economy, stupid” was the mantra of the 1992 Clinton campaign, and Obama has sought to make it one of the key planks of his bid for the presidency. He has seen his lead on this issue sharply reduced in the last few weeks, but today McCain has has to clarify his comments on the state of the US economy.
Closer to home, does the financial turmoil offer any kind of a lifeline to a beleagured Gordon Brown? Will the “he’s the man to lead us through these tough times” line be wheeled out during what’s arguably the biggest financial crisis since 1929? Or are the attempts to topple the PM simply now too far advanced for this to offer him any kind of respite?