The LA Times had an article Monday about McCain’s position(s) on social security. It’s not particularly worth reading, but the upshot is that he’s been all over the place when he’s talked about social security and no one can really figure out what his position actually is. It turns out that vagueness is his position, and explicitly so:
McCain and his aides say the lack of specificity is intentional — the result of lessons from 2005, when Bush tried to sell a skeptical public on private accounts.
“There’s a really careful recognition of the history,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s economic advisor.
“The history on Social Security has been if you put out specific proposals or preconditions, you polarize the debate and the deal doesn’t get done.”
In other words, if we told voters what his policy proposals actually are, then they might not like them. Instead, we are being intentionally vague, so that he can keep his position a secret until he starts negotiating with congress behind closed doors in January 2009. Yes, this is the candidate who is reputed to be a straight talker. Yes, this is a man who wants to be the president of the United States.