MOREHEAD, Kentucky (CNN)– A pretty good rule of thumb is:
If everyday shoppers coming out of Best Buy stores, out of Home Depots, out of Dick’s Sporting Goods, out of Payless Shoe Source, are talking about the Dow Jones industrial average, that’s probably not a good thing.
The Dow, for those who have made the choice not to be obsessed with the stock market– or at least who thought they had made that choice– is supposed to be sort of like the air pressure in the tires of someone else’s car: nothing you have to worry about, unless the tire blows and sends the car skidding in your direction.
The tire seems to have blown.
And Americans who otherwise would be talking about sports, or how much they dislike their bosses, or holiday plans, now are talking about the Dow, even though they‘d prefer not to. You overhear it all the time.
Because even for people who don’t have a lot of money in the stock market– or who don’t have any money at all in the stock market– the bizarre behavior of the Dow, they are finding out, is affecting their lives, and the lives of their loved ones.
(CNN) - John McCain lashed out at President Bush's record on a host of issues Wednesday, perhaps the Arizona senator's harshest criticism to date of his party's standard-bearer for the last eight years.
"Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously," McCain told the Washington Times when asked to name his criticisms of the current president.
"Those are just some of them," McCain said, laughing.
The comments are the latest in the Arizona senator's efforts to distance himself from the unpopular president as Election Day inches closer and opinion surveys repeatedly suggest Bush is a heavy drag on the GOP ticket. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll showed the president's approval rating mired in the mid-20s while nearly 60 percent of voters felt McCain would continue the president's policies.
In the interview, McCain also took swipes at the president for supporting a massive Medicare program, the administration's repeated invocation of executive privilege to sidestep oversight, and Dick Cheney's powerful role as vice president.
"I don't agree with [Vice President] Dick Cheney's allegation that he's part of both the legislative and the executive branch," McCain said.
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama’s latest pitch to Indiana voters: hometown rocker John Mellecamp.
The Illinois senator’s campaign has launched a radio spot there that features the state’s favorite son and longtime Obama supporter.
“I’ve seen a lot of small towns, but now I’m seeing small towns across America dying,” Mellencamp says in the ad. “Folks losing their jobs and their homes… eight years of George Bush have really hurt. And – John McCain is just more of the same.”
Click here to listen to the ad
Last week, the Republican National Committee’s independent expenditure unit announced that it was re-directing its advertising efforts to focus on traditionally Republican states including Indiana.
In CNN’s last Indiana poll released on October 7, 51 percent of likely voters supported Sen. John McCain and 46 percent backed Obama. Pres. Bush won the state by 21 points four years ago and Democrats have not carried the state since 1964.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told a House committee Thursday that the nation will emerge from the current credit crisis with a "far sounder financial system."
"We are in the midst of a once-in-a century credit tsunami," Greenspan told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in prepared testimony.
Greenspan said that whatever regulatory changes are made to respond to the crisis, "they will pale in comparison to the change already evident in today's markets."
(CNN) - John McCain on Thursday kicks off his "Joe the Plumber" tour to woo Florida's blue-collar vote, as Barack Obama returns to Indiana, a traditionally red state where McCain is ahead.
McCain plans events in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Altamonte Springs, Orlando, Plant City and Sarasota.
Obama holds a 3 percentage point lead over McCain in Florida, 49 percent to 46 percent, according to CNN's average of Florida polls. Florida has 27 electoral votes up for grabs.
McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's pitch to working-class voters is that their team will protect small businesses.
The Republican ticket is focusing its argument on Obama's highly publicized conversation with Ohio voter Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, since dubbed "Joe the Plumber."
Earlier this month, Wurzelbacher told Obama that he was about to buy a company that makes more than $250,000 a year and was concerned that the Democrat would tax him more.
Obama explained his tax plan in depth, saying it's better to lower taxes for Americans who make less money so that they could afford to buy from his business. His tax plan would lower taxes for people making less than $250,000 a year.
(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani is the star of a new robocall from the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee that seeks to portray Barack Obama as soft on crime.
In the new call, to be blasted to voters in several swing states, the former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor says Obama opposes "mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers."
"You need to know that Barack Obama opposes mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers," Giuliani says in the call. "It's true, I read Obama's words myself. And recently, congressional liberals introduced a bill to eliminate mandatory prison sentences for violent criminals - trying to give liberal judges the power to decide whether criminals are sent to jail or set free."
"With priorities like these, we just can't trust the inexperience and judgment of Barack Obama and his liberal allies," Giuliani says.
Listen: Giuliani narrates the McCain/RNC's latest robocall
The Obama campaign did not have an immediate comment, but according to its Web site, the Illinois senator does support "reforming mandatory minimum prison sentences."
"Every leading expert body in criminal justice has opposed the use of mandatory minimum sentences, including the Sentencing Commission, the Judicial Conference, the American Bar Association, and leading criminal justice scholars," his Web site ways.
Giuliani's robocall comes a week after the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign blasted a robocall to swing-state voters highlighting the Democratic presidential candidate's connection to 1960's radical William Ayers.
Those calls have drawn criticism from a handful of vulnerable Senate Republicans wary of turning off independent voters, including Maine's Susan Collins, Minnesota's Norm Coleman and Oregon's Gordon Smith.
CNN: Enemies won't test me, McCain says
Sen. Barack Obama's foreign policy positions could encourage America's enemies to test it during the early days of an Obama administration, Sen. John McCain said Wednesday.
CNN: Gov. Sarah Palin, Todd Palin to give depositions
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband will provide depositions Friday to the state Personnel Board, which is looking into whether Palin unfairly fired Alaska's public safety director this summer, the couple's attorney told CNN.
CNN: Giuliani gets tough on Obama in new robocall
Rudy Giuliani is the star of a new robocall from the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee that seeks to portray Barack Obama as soft on crime.
CNN: Obama: 'This looks like the real 'Virginia to me'
In recent days, comments made by various Republicans about certain places being the "real America" or certain people being "pro-America" have started to creep into Barack Obama's stump speech.
CNN: RNC to add to FEC complaint on Obama's fundraising
The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that it plans to submit an addendum to its recent complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission about the fundraising of Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
CNN: Ex-ACORN worker: 'I paid the price' for voter registration fraud
Clifton Mitchell helped register nearly 2,000 voters for the community group ACORN. But not one of them actually existed.
CNN Radio: McCain names victims, Obama spins Biden
John McCain sees Main Street as the victim, Barack Obama tidies up after Joe Biden, and Michelle Obama had nothing to do with that lobster and caviar. Lisa Desjardins has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.
Track the candidates as they crisscross the country.
(CNN) - Republican presidential nominee John McCain's schedule on Thursday calls for a swing through the battleground state of Florida.
Rallies and events are planned in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Altamonte Springs, Orlando, Plant City and Sarasota.
The most recent CNN Poll of Polls in Florida showed Obama with a three-point lead over McCain in Florida, 49 percent to 46 percent. The polls were conducted October 4 through October 15.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama plans to meet voters in Indianapolis, Indiana. The state has voted for the Democratic candidate during presidential elections just once during the past 70 years.
Recent polls, however, show a tight race in Indiana. A CNN/Time/Opinion Research indicated McCain had a five-point advantage over Obama, 51 percent to 46 percent. The poll was conducted October 3 through October 6, and had a margin of error of plus or minus of 4 percentage points.
The Obama campaign has spent about $4.6 million in ad spending in Indiana during the past 30 days.
The Republican National Committee has picked up the slack for McCain in Indiana, but has been vastly outspent by the Obama campaign. The RNC has spent about $1.1 million during the same period.
Following the rally in Indianapolis, Obama is expected to leave the campaign trail and visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii. He plans to return to the campaign on Saturday, Obama campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Monday.
The other half the Democratic ticket, vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, will be in North Carolina, yet another traditionally Republican state that the Democrats are hoping to flip on Election Day.
He's scheduled to attend rallies at universities and colleges in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh.
A CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a 4-point lead over McCain in North Carolina, 51 percent to 47 percent. The poll was conducted October 19 through October 21, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
The race was deadlocked at 49 percent in the same poll two weeks ago. That poll was conducted October 3 through October 6, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, is expected to hold a rally in Troy, Ohio. She spoke to voters at three events Tuesday, with McCain joining her at two of them.
A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday showed Obama with a 4-point lead in Ohio. The poll was conducted October 19 through October 21 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Palin is then scheduled to travel to Beaver, Pennsylvania for a rally. The McCain campaign is increasingly focusing on the state, which carries 21 electoral votes. McCain held rallies in the state on Tuesday and visited the state twice last week.