Ok not exactly but it is at least open for negotiation, so long as McCain can demonstrate the following 10 things before election day (with a few provisos for Obama):
1. McCain & Palin must hold a press conference on the issues of race and religion immediately. McCain must publicly state that Obama is not a Muslim, discourage anyone from using Obama’s middle name to infer that he’s a terrorist, and that race should no longer be an issue in this country. They should then both (along with Obama) state publicly that they will not support anyone who votes simply because of race. This is an example of why a speech is necessary, and this is an example of how effective a speech could be.
2. Sarah Palin must hold a press conference before election day. She is the least qualified VP candidate in our nation’s history, so until she holds a formal press conference with the ENTIRE mainstream media explaining why this shouldn’t matter, I can’t vote for McCain.
3. Stop the campaign ads (this goes for both candidates). We all have access to Google, 24 news channels, factcheck.org, etc… so we can tell that they're lying, and what’s worse is that whenever one side lies the other side gets to claim the moral high ground (as long as they can ignore the lies of their own candidate). Here’s a taste of just where the “post-partisan” politics we were promised have brought us, as well as the fact-checker:
4. Stop talking about tax cuts. The debt has increased by ~$5 trillion dollars in the past 8 years, we’ve seen one of the largest redistributions of wealth in a century (which for everyone claiming the regressiveness of Bush's tax cuts note that this is the reason why the top 1% now pays more as a percentage of total receipts than they did under Clinton), and we are currently fighting a war on two fronts. So until either candidate states emphatically that no one will receive an additional tax break until we can draw down our troop presence abroad, this point is moot.
5. Start talking about entitlement reform; with specifics. Something must be done regarding Social Security and Medicare before we reach the point of no return that Naomi Klein refers to in the Shock Doctrine.
6. Stop demanding that Obama admit that the surge worked. Even General Patreus admits that the decrease in violence we have seen over the past year could have been achieved without the surge. This is political posturing over an issue that fails to provide a long term strategy in a war that is costing our country $10B per month. The surge "worked" in part because of the following (though I'm sure there are some things I've missed):
a. A cease fire orchestrated by Al Sadr & Iran
b. Payola offered to the Sunni Awakening groups
c. Years of ethnic cleansings
d. A stronger Iraqi force
e. 20% of the population displaced to other nations; and,
f. More troops resulting form the surge
8. Stop with the incessant talking points and catch phrases. I don’t vote out of fear that Obama may be a secret Muslim or believe that John McCain shouldn’t be president because he owns foreign cars or doesn’t know how to work a computer (both Obama ads).
9. Republicans must stop booing whenever a Republican mentions the NY Times.
10. Stop talking about which politician is to blame for our current crisis. Sure the government enabled our country to spend beyond its means, but they did not force Wall-Street to enter into off-balance sheet transactions in illiquid markets where there were no adequate pricing mechanisms or risk models. This was a concerted effort by Wall-Street to do what they do best; make money. As an aside, I can tell you that a great number of the deals I see in the M&A world are back and forth conversations with banks looking to legally avoid a) tax positions and b) on-balance sheet recognition. But more on that later…