Good morning. Welcome to O-pinion, the Observer’s home for opinion and debate on the issues of the day. I’m associate editor Fannie Flono, and I’ll be your host today, bringing you perspectives from the Observer’s editorial board and pundits from around the nation.
And on the national and local front, they're still talking about Bank of America's reversal on those debit card fees. Candice Choi , writing for BusinessWeek, quotes an unemployed 38-year-old who summed up the feelings of a lot of BofA customers. Diane Abela said she would have closed her account if BofA hadn't backed down: "I had a feeling if there was a big outcry, they wouldn't go through with it. I'm unemployed and $5 makes a big difference. When you're working on a budget every week, it's the last thing you need."
BofA finally listened, which we said this morning was a good thing. The marketplace showed what it would bear. But the public needs to beware: BofA and other banks will likely be on the hunt for new fee opportunities to make more revenue.
Switching to politics:
The pundits were still talking about Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's wacky performance at a fundraiser in New Hampshire last week. The video has gone viral on YouTube. Perry defended his behavior Tuesday. But according to the National Journal, the performance got distinctly different reviews on Tuesday morning at National Journal's Election Preview. Two veteran political strategists suggested that Perry was under the influence. The Texas governor's ebullient performance was "not presidential," said Democratic consultant Steve McMahon, adding, "Perhaps he had been drinking." Republican Charlie Black, who advised former presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, agreed that Perry's behavior was "odd." Noting that Perry has had back surgery, Black added: "Maybe it was back medicine that he had too much of."
Moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS said the governor was "sort of acting silly."
With Perry's poll numbers going the wrong way, maybe silly isn't the description he should be aiming for.
And what about the Hermanator (he's been annihilating the Republican field thus the moniker)? He's still fending off questions about those past sexual harassment charges. The New York Times says one woman got $35,000 -- a year's pay -- in a settlement. Not so little. The same story said one of the accusers now wants the National Restaurant Association to let her out of her confidential agreement so she can defend herself against Cain's charges that she's a false accuser. Uh oh.
The Washington Post said Cain is only digging deeper holes for himself as he keeps talking about the matter. He should shut up, says Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake. We don't know about that but it's clear the way he's talked about it hasn't helped.