The McCain plan:
Mr. McCain’s advisers said their hope was that the issue of the economy would recede somewhat from the public consciousness, now that Congress has passed a bailout plan, and open the way to try to turn the contest back into a referendum on Mr. Obama’s credentials. They argued that given everything that had happened, Mr. McCain remained in easy distance of Mr. Obama, evidence of what they said were underlying problems with his appeal.
That seems unlikely to me. The nature of the financial crisis certain did provoke a white knuckle tone to press coverage of the economy that’s unusual. But dramatic financial crisis or no dramatic financial crisis, the combination of job losses and near-universal agreement that we’re in for a recession would seem to guarantee a hefty focus on the economy. You could imagine something changing that — a terrorist attack or some kind of foreign crisis could easily push the economy off the front pages temporarily — but it’s hard to imagine it happening just as a process of fading.