The American people know my record. They know I am going to change Washington, because I've done it before. They know I'm going to reform our broken institutions in Washington and on Wall Street because I've done it before. They know I'm going to deliver relief to the middle class, because that's what I've done.
The problem is: Americans don't know that McCain is going to reform broken institutions. They don't know that he's done it before. They don't know that he's going to deliver relief to the middle class. They don't, en masse, trust McCain in this area. They trust Obama.
I've heard the selection of John McCain by the GOP hailed as the only possible way to forestall a humiliating landslide defeat in 2008. I think this has turned out to be backwards. Sure, McCain would have been a good choice for the GOP had Iraq remained the key issue in the election (speaking from an analysis standpoint, not as a citizen), but he's proven the worst possible choice in an economic crisis. Not only does he not know anything at all about the crisis (or economics generally), but McCain's always been a "national greatness" conservative, and what he would no doubt consider babying voters through the knocks of the market (put another way, reassuring and showing leadership during economic crises) is simply not the stuff great nations are made of, at least as far as McCain's concerned.
One wonders if Mike Huckabee might not have been a better choice, as he can project empathy and can talk to the American people (though he's pretty ignorant of policy, too). Romney could probably explain the crisis to the American people. Either one would have probably been better than John McCain, who is now shooting his wad a month before the election.