The name dropper

In Scranton, name-dropping John McCain says he's "deeply uncomfortable" about Secretary Paulson's proposed bailout plan.

Published September 22, 2008 5:40PM (EDT)

Give John McCain some credit for expressing doubts about the bailout. He’s decrying golden parachutes and bonuses for top executives who ran companies into the ground. Echoing my post below about Barack Obama's Green Bay speech today, at some points McCain's language is positively Nader-esque.

Of course, it's just election-year talk from McCain, he of the seven homes and 13 not-all-American-made automobiles. If he's an economic populist, I'm a power forward for the New York Knicks.

Notice, too, from the clip that yet again McCain is shamelessly trying to glean some indirect credibility by name-dropping (he mentions working in the future with people like Warren Buffett and Michael Bloomberg) and, in general, demonstrate he's a reach-across-the-aisle, bipartisan guy. This is another naked, election-motivated attempt to appeal to moderates and independents by mentioning people trusted by voters more than McCain is.

May I ask how it is that McCain is allowed to poach on the credibility of others by dropping the names of people who, so far as I can tell, may not necessarily agree with him or his policies, aren't paid or unpaid advisors for his campaign, and might never agree to serve in his administration?

The senator had better be careful: At some point, somebody whose name is dropped is not going to like it ... and will speak up about it.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz.