CLARKONOMICS: This has been the year of the underdog -- just look at the Super Bowl. The heavily favored New England Patriots lost to the very inspired New York Giants. The Giants may not have had the talent, but they did have the heart. Clark predicted the Patriots would take the game 38-17. But that was not the case. Similarly, look at Super Tuesday and all the political handicapping that's led to it. Who could have predicted we'd be where we are now with McCain coming from nowhere to the front of the GOP pack and Obama becoming a coalescing force for the Dems? Both McCain and Obama campaigned as outsiders and claim to speak with the voice of change.
The American people have fatigued on the War on Terror, so the economy is front and center in this campaign. People are voting with their wallets. ABC News reports that nearly 9 in 10 people believe the economy is poor or fair. Some 60 percent believe we're already in a recession. People are feeling pinched in their lives. You've got 4 in 10 saying the economy and the fear of losing their jobs are their No. 1 issues. That's why people want change. Clark would love to see a poll that reveals how many people have positive feelings about McCain and Obama. While their politics are complete opposites, Clark's hunch is that many people across the land like both of them. That speaks again to the discomfort people are feeling.
One final thought: A president can not wave a magic wand and fix what ails the economy. We give presidents too much credit and too much blame for what goes on in our daily economic lives. Don't expect that the economy will do what you want it to do if your favorite candidate gets into the White House. The only person who has real power over your wallet and your job is you. You may need to go back to school to get more job skills, even if you're a mid-career adult. Or perhaps you need to become an entrepreneur. Clark's ultimate message is don't rely on Washington to fix what ails your wallet. You need to fix it.