A McCain staff meeting

A MCCAIN STAFF MEETING…. If I didn’t know better, I might think Barack Obama enjoys getting off the ropes and going on the offensive.

In a speech in Elko, Nevada, this afternoon, Obama relayed the story about John McCain, in the midst of a financial meltdown, boasting that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Obama responded today, “But it sounds like he got a little carried away, because yesterday, John McCain actually said that if he’s President, he’ll take on the — and I quote — ‘ol’ boys network’ in Washington. I am not making this up. This is someone who’s been in Congress for 26 years — who put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign — and now he tells us that he’s the one who will take on the ol’ boy network. The ol’ boy network? In the McCain campaign, that’s called a staff meeting.”

That’s a good line. Expect to hear it again.

Obama also went after McCain’s proposal for “a high-level commission” to study the economic crisis. Obama told Nevadans today, “[Y]esterday, John McCain’s big solution to the crisis we’re facing is — get ready for it — a commission. That’s Washington-speak for ‘we’ll get back to you later’ Folks, we don’t need a commission to figure out what happened. We know what happened. Too many in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. CEOs got greedy. Lobbyists got their way. Politicians sat on their hands until it was too late. We don’t need a commission to tell us how we got into this mess, we need a President who will lead us out of this mess — and that’s the kind of President I intend to be.”

I’m glad to see Obama follow up on McCain’s commission idea. It’s the kind of proposal most voters probably see as a hollow, buck-passing exercise. It becomes all the more significant when one realizes McCain has literally nothing else to offer when it comes to the crisis on Wall Street — he says he’s rediscovered his love of regulation, but he won’t offer any details.

A commission in response to a financial meltdown is pretty humiliating. The McCain campaign probably put the idea out there before thinking it through, and probably regrets it now.