By MARK PENN
Published October 14, 2008
As Monty Python used to say, “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition” — which is another way of saying that no one expects the unexpected. And recent unanticipated political and financial events are a good reminder that everything could change in one fell swoop.
In a sense, the worsening financial crisis should come as no surprise — hedge fund managers I’ve met with over the past year and a half predicted almost perfectly what would happen. And Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first presidential candidate to warn repeatedly of financial danger while the president, Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman all downplayed it.
Now the voters have shifted in Barack Obama’s direction, largely because he seems better able than John McCain to tackle these types of complex problems but also because the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, performed so well during times of economic concern. In such situations, voters now instinctively reach for a Democrat rather than a Republican. And it has shaken up the presidential race.