As final preparations for the last presidential debate are made – water glasses  weighed and secret memoranda  consulted – both candidates have revamped their economic plans for the economic crisis now gripping the country.
McCain was uncertain , at first, about whether to release a revised plan. But even after deciding that certain “economic news and conditions” demanded such action, he seems to have omitted several critical elements from the proposal. No, if you were concerned, he remembered to include a cut in the capital gains tax. And yes, if you’re worried he was going soft , he will employ a surge  strategy to prevent foreclosures.
What McCain forgot is perhaps less obvious, unless you’re Mayor Doherty  of Scranton , Mayor Wilder  of Richmond , or Mayor McLin  of Dayton . Although the McCain-Palin team rallied recently in each of these cities – McCain even announced Palin’s vice presidential candidacy in Dayton – the Republican’s campaign seems not to have taken to heart their experiences in these swing state  cities.
Indeed, the McCain-Palin ticket thrived off the rallies’ rabid  crowds , but their economic recovery plan  provides no aid for the struggling state and local, including city, governments that employ, provide benefits to, and protect the crowds. Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio all face midyear FY2009 budget gaps  and city governments are increasingly pessimistic  about their economic health. This is just one more example  of the McCain camp’s failure to address urban issues.
Tonight is the final opportunity that both candidates will have to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of cities. We’ve put together a short video to remind the candidates why cities matter: