Dear Barack: It's the Economy Stupid

03/18/2008 09:53 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dear Barack,

Repeat after me: It's the economy, stupid.

Your people read the papers. They read the business page. Hell, they
even read Krugman. So I beg you, stop squabbling with Hillary over
scandalettes. Flip the script: start talking dollars and cents. Senator
McCain gave you a perfect opening. Here's how to take it:

"As many of you know, Senator McCain visited Iraq over the weekend.
He wants to remind everyone how much foreign policy experience he has.
What he doesn't want people reminded of is what he said before the war
in Iraq began: that it would be over quickly, within a matter of weeks.

That was what his vast foreign policy experience told him.

We've now been in Iraq for five years. If Senator McCain has his
way, we may be there another hundred. What McCain refuses to talk about
is the costs of this occupation. He doesn't want to talk about the
thousands of soldiers who have died. And he especially doesn't want to
talk about the ways in which our economy has been ravaged by this
debtors' war.

You see, to Senator McCain 'homeland security' means sending troops
into the wrong country to fight the wrong war. I have a broader vision
of what "homeland security" means. It means finding ways to help the
millions of Americans living in poverty. It means creating jobs. It
means providing an education that will allow our children to compete in
the global marketplace. It means taking the steps necessary to pull our
economy out of its current tailspin.

The majority of our citizens have wanted this occupation over for
years. They know that our economy grows weaker every single day our
soldiers are in Iraq. In fact, if this occupation were a home, it would
have been foreclosed on long ago. The American people don't need another
lecture from Senator McCain about 'victory in Iraq.' What they need is a
leader who can to create economic victories here at home."

I'd follow up with some specifics about how you would spend the
money squandered in Iraq here at home. That's what Americans want to
hear right now. Trust me, I'm one of them.

Still technically unemployed,