(Update added below)
Tuesday afternoon, just hours before Barack Obama and John McCain meet to chat with Tom Brokaw and real Americans in a Town Hall debate, the Associated Press has moved a story that screams: "Retirement Accounts Have Lost $2 Trillion."
According to the head of the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, the $2 trillion has been lost in the past 15 months. This upheaval is "devastating workers' savings, forcing people to hold off on major purchases and consider delaying their retirement."
John McCain's campaign, we're told, wants to "turn the page" away from the economy. No doubt. Reality, however, is conspiring against him.
This latest news directly affects voting demographics (workers over age 50 and retirees) that need to "come home" to the Democratic Party on November 4th. It dovetails perfectly into a critique of McCain's support for tying social security to the stock market, which plunged another 500 points today.
Obama needs to mention this story in the debate.... early and often: "Do Americans honestly want four more years of this? Can we take four more years like the past eight years?"
End of film.
UPDATE: Obama did indeed make reference to voter concern about retirement accounts at the beginning of the debate, in answer to the first question (which was "ready made"):
Brokaw: I understand that you flipped a coin. And, Sen. Obama, you will begin tonight. We're going to have our first question from over here in Section A from Alan Shaffer. Alan?
Shaffer: With the economy on the downturn and retired and older citizens and workers losing their incomes, what's the fastest, most positive solution to bail these people out of the economic ruin?
Obama: Well, Alan, thank you very much for the question. I want to first, obviously, thank Belmont University....I think everybody knows now we are in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And a lot of you I think are worried about your jobs, your pensions, your retirement accounts, your ability to send your child or your grandchild to college. And I believe this is a final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years, strongly promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain.....