Mark Halperin’s Three Things

Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Tuesday, October 14.

1. Watch to see what happens in the financial markets today. Following record gains in the Dow yesterday, Asian and European markets soared for the second day in a row. Today, the Dow was up more than 300 points in the first few minutes of trading following President Bush’s announcement that the government would use $250 billion of the bailout money to invest into banks. Watch to see what happens to the market and the rest of the economic indicators during the day today.

2. Keep your eyes on John McCain. He’s scheduled to unveil his new economic plan in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania at 11 am ET today. This is his big chance to try to own the economic story and to show that he has economic policies that can help to solve the current crisis. It’s also his chance to show the American people that they should have confidence in his ability to deal with the economy. How does he deliver his plan? How does the campaign roll it out to make it seem like a substantive agenda and something McCain believes in?

3. Watch to see how the press covers the first two things above. How big a deal do they make of the revised McCain economic agenda? How much do they treat it like a substantive plan? Watch to see how much time  nightly newscasts and cable TV spend on discussing it as a campaign tactic. The McCain campaign has to do their best to get the media to cover this story as a tangible solution that McCain is aggressively behind, rather than just a gimmick to give him a boost in a race where he’s currently trailing.

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