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Best campaign strategy ever: McCain and Obama try to buy your vote

June 10, 2008 | 10:50 am

The general election campaign is barely underway, but I already like what I'm seeing. Why? Both John McCain and Barack Obama want to address Americans' anxiety over the anemic economy by (drum roll) ... giving us money! Obama wants Congress and President Bush to doll out another $50 billion stimulus package ASAP:

On the first day of what is to be a two-week economic tour around the country, Barack Obama said Monday that lawmakers should inject another $50 billion immediately into the sluggish U.S. economy.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee cited the largest monthly increase in the unemployment rate in over 20 years, and record highs in oil prices, food prices and foreclosures.

"Such relief can't wait until the next president takes office. ... That's why I've called for another round of fiscal stimulus, an immediate $50 billion to help those who've been hit hardest by this economic downturn," Obama told a crowd in Raleigh, N.C.

Now it's your turn to bid for voters, McCain:

With gas prices reaching a national average of four dollars a gallon -- a record high -- John McCain is planning to resurrect his call for a national gas tax holiday, which became a staple of his stump speech in late April and early May.

A McCain aide told CNN's Dana Bash on Monday that the Arizona senator planned to plug the gas tax holiday in public statements throughout the day as a message to voters that he understands the plight of working families in a tough economy.

Before a fundraiser in Richmond, Virginia on Monday, McCain mentioned the gas tax holiday in remarks to a smaller event for about 40 high-dollar donors. "That was derided by Sen. Obama and others as a gimmick," McCain said, but added that working people and truckers would appreciate it.

"I don't pretend that it's an answer to our energy problems," he said.

Say what you will about voting responsibly and evaluating the candidates based on how their stances affect the entire country, but think about it: What is tangibly better for you than having more money? I thought the first stimulus package represented fiscal policymaking at its worst, but that isn't stopping me from cashing the $1,200 check that just arrived in the mail. And even though Obama's and McCain's respective vote-buying moves are just gimmicks, if they insist, I'll be more than happy to indulge in cheaper gas or another check from Washington.

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