The Corner

Speaking of Risks

The first one I’d take if I were the McCain people is going through whatever budgetary gymnastics are necessary for him to propose a substantial middle-class tax cut of some variety. They may feel “locked in” to the proposals McCain has already made, but consistency can be over-rated (especially if you aren’t particularly vulnerable to a vacillating, flip-flopper narrative). Imagine if McCain had stayed consistent in his opposition to drilling–it would have been McCain and Obama united together against the GOP and the public. Until Obama changed–then, it would have been McCain all alone. Drilling was a flip-flop that paid off in a big way for McCain. I expect shifting his priorities to support a middle-class tax cut would do the same. He’d have something tangible to give the voters he most needs to win over, and it would give him maximum leverage for his attack on Obama as a tax-raiser.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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