10/26/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

40 Days Out: From the Fundamentals are Strong to a Great Depression in Less Than Two Weeks

On Tuesday, George Will gave some illuminating commentary: "Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama. Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that 'McCain untethered' -- disconnected from knowledge and principle -- had made a 'false and deeply unfair' attack on Cox that was 'unpresidential'...'"

Whatever one may think of Cox, George Will's critique of McCain has been borne out with every passing day, and often every passing hour.

A Two-Week Timeline of John McCain's Handling of the Economy

September 14: Alan Greenspan Says We are in a "Once-In-A-Century" Financial Crisis. ["Greenspan: Economy in 'once-in-a-century' crisis,"CNN.Com, 9/14/08]

September 15 (Morning): "McCain: 'Fundamentals Of Our Economy are Strong'" [AP, 9/15/08]

September 15 (Afternoon): McCain shifts focus to workers, calling them the fundamentals of the economy and "those fundamentals of America are strong." ["McCain rejiggers economic line," Politico, 9/15/08]

September 16: Carly Fiorina says John McCain is not qualified to lead a large corporation. ["Fiorina: Candidates unqualified to lead firm, " AP, 9/16/08]

September 17: Doug Holtz-Eakin sought to explain why McCain was qualified to lead the nation out of its economic morass by saying he invented the BlackBerry. ["Move over, Al Gore: John McCain invented the BlackBerry," Los Angeles Times, 9/17/08]

September 17: McCain echoes Phil Gramm's talking points in Michigan. ["Echoes of Gramm by McCain in Michigan," Washington Post, 9/17/08]

September 18: McCain says he'd fire official he can't fire. ["From the Fact Check Desk: Could McCain 'Fire' the SEC Chairman?", 9/18/08]

September 18: McCain launches false attack ad claiming Fannie Mae CEO is advising Obama. [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/19/08]

September 19: "McCain Flubs Call for SEC Chair's Head, Again." [Salon, 9/19/08]

September 19: McCain gets key facts wrong on Fannie Pay ["McCain Appears Wrong on Fannie Pay," First Read,, 9/19/08]

September 19: NY Times reveals McCain calls for Wall Street style deregulation to be applied to health care. [John McCain, "Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American," Sept./Oct. issue of Contingencies magazine]

September 20: McCain blames Obama for economic crisis. ["On Economy, Obama Offers Ideas, McCain Blames Rival," WashingtonPost, 9/20/08]

September 21: John McCain falsely tells New York Times Rick Davis, had no involvement with the company for the last several years. [New York Times, 9/24/08]

September 21: Obama offers principles on bailout. [Politico, 9/21/08]

September 22: McCain claims "Sen. Obama has declined to put forth a plan of his own" [Remarks in Scranton, PA, 9/22/08]

September 22: CNN calls McCain attack "misleading." [, 9/22/08]

September 23: George Will criticizes McCain's erratic response to economic crisis. [Washington Post, 9/23/08]

September 23: McCain says he's not going to DC for bailout vote. [Los Angeles Times, 9/23/08]

September 23: McCain admits he hasn't read the plan. [, 9/23/08]

September 24: ABC-Washington Post poll shows McCain losing ground on the economy. [, 9/24/08]

September 24: Newsweek, Roll Call and the New York Times dispute McCain's comments on Davis's lobbying firm. [New York Times, 9/24/08]

September 24: McCain calls for debate to be canceled, says he's suspending campaign to return to Washington. [ 9/24/08]

September 24: McCain running mate says as Great Depression is possible if bailout deal not passed. [CBS Evening News, 9/24/08]

September 25: McCain says plan won't pass. [Remarks as Prepared for Deliver, Clinton Global Initiative, 9/25/08]

September 25: AP reports deal is near. [AP, 9/25/08]

September 25, three hours after McCain's speech: Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate announce "fundamental agreement" on the plan without McCain. [Politico, 9/25/08]