When it comes to fixing the housing market in this election year, it’s a battle between the “ineffective” and the “do-nothing.”
President Obama’s relief measures for homeowners facing foreclosure have fallen far short of objectives. Republican candidates, meanwhile, prefer to let the marketplace work its magic. Prices will then hit bottom and begin to recover.
The hands-off approach might not cause too much damage to Republicans in South Carolina. But when the race moves to foreclosure-heavy states such as Florida and Nevada, Republican candidates could find themselves having to explain why they don’t want to help any homeowners.
Obama can’t show much in the way of results, but he can reveal a bit of a heart. And he’ll get another chance to show that in next week’s State of the Union, where he is expected to offer another gesture of support for troubled homeowners.
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South Carolina debate critical for Romney as Gingrich looms
Republican presidential candidates meet again for perhaps the most crucial debate yet in the 2012 campaign, with front-runner Mitt Romney beginning to look shaky and likely to face fire from nearest challenger Newt Gingrich. It is the final chance for rivals to chip away at Romney’s lead in South Carolina ahead of the primary vote.