The Note: Econ 102

So the Dow won its points back -- where does Sen. John McCain go to get HIS points back?

He's a day late, and $7.5 billion short (as measured by price tags). After realizing that it's all about the economy -- then seemingly forgetting it -- and after saying he would unveil new economic proposals -- then saying he wouldn't -- Team McCain on Tuesday turns the page back, again, to the only issue that's likely to really matter between now and Election Day.

Maybe Sen. Barack Obama really IS right where McCain wants him. (But maybe, since he spent Monday in Virginia and North Carolina, McCain was where Obama wanted HIM).

Assuming McCain, R-Ariz., hasn't precisely been where he wanted to be, this may be his way only way back -- with only a few detours, as arranged by Bill Ayers. His next step comes on a day where investors look to breathe again -- as he hopes that the public takes one more deep breath before Election Day.

From the McCain campaign Tuesday morning: "John McCain will address the ongoing economic crisis, with a special emphasis on those most badly hurt: workers, homeowners, savers, and seniors. He will announce specific proposals to build on his Resurgence Plan, which uses the $700 billion to keep Americans in their homes, stop the drop in housing values, stabilize financial markets and turn the corner on the crisis by charting New Directions for Workers, Seniors, and Savers. Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain understands that in a crisis raising taxes is an especially bad idea."

The details, per Reuters' Steve Holland: "McCain will propose that seniors pay a maximum tax rate of 10 percent on money they withdraw from IRAs and 401(k) retirement plans in 2009 and 2010, instead of paying the current higher tax rate."

"[Doug] Holtz-Eakin said McCain will also propose relief for Americans who are 'aiming toward retirement' and were counting on investment income to send their children to college or pay the mortgage. Internal Revenue Service rules say Americans can only deduct $3,000 in stock losses in any given year. McCain would expand that deduction to $15,000 a year for the tax years 2008 and 2009."

"We've got help at all levels of society, not just at one," former mayor Rudy Giuliani, R-N.Y., told ABC's Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" Tuesday.

As for the shift in campaign tone: "They have great disagreements -- a lot of respect for each other -- but real disagreements," Giuliani said. "My advice to him is that he just has to get his message out."

The biggest thing going in McCain's favor is also his biggest enemy: time. There's not enough of it left to force a major shift in the race -- but there's just enough of it to cram in another storyline or two. And that demands more than one candidate.

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney: "Campaigns have rhythms, and inevitably swing back and forth for all kinds of reasons, including mistakes by candidates (think Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants) and the news media's desire for a competitive race and tendency to find the 'underdog is surging' story line irresistible. The pendulum theory is certainly one that Republicans are grabbing onto these days."

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