The silence may result from the candidates’ taking their signals from GOP primary voters. Cook does a good job exploring the underlying reasoning, first with insight from Don Haurin, an Ohio State University economist.
In wooing their Republican base, the two front-runners are emphasizing their conservative credentials. That means an emphasis on fewer government regulations and less intervention in the free market. That message doesn’t do much to reassure those who have lost their homes or are facing foreclosure, Mr. Haurin said.
“You’re telling them there’s no help and that’s not going to win you any votes,” he said.
Cook follows that gem up with a quote from Eric Herzik, chairman of the political science department at the University of Nevada-Reno: “The easy answer to why Republican candidates don’t talk about this is they don’t have any type of solution. You can say it’s tough love, but it’s not the 30-second sound bite you want.”
The response from the Republican candidates, of course, is that they’re not offering a targeted housing solution, but focusing instead on the overall economy. Cook’s article gives the campaigns room to make that argument, as it should.
But that, in turn, means those broader economic plans are even more important—and more deserving of coverage. Ohio’s press corps should provide it.
Ends 7/31: If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of
10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.