Letter published in the Nov. 2, 2008 issue of TIME magazine
Joe Klein would like Obama to tell the truth to the American people regarding the sacrifices they will need to make during this economic free fall [Oct. 20]. But it is clear that such truth-telling is not what the American people want to hear, nor does such directness help the candidate during an election campaign. In August, in the midst of the oil-price surge, Obama tried to suggest to Americans that maintaining inflated tires could conserve fuel. The suggestion, backed by experts, was mocked by the McCain campaign. Clearly Obama learned the lesson of Walter Mondale's attempt to tell the truth in 1984 about the need to raise taxes.