Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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Where in the world is Sarah Palin?

What a difference a week can make.

Last week Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson owned the news cycle for three days.  It was far and away the most anticipated political interview since Gary Condit was crossed examined by Connie Chung over the dissapearance of Chandra Levy.

Flash forward a week, and throw in the biggest financial meltdown in two decades, and suddenly Sarah Palin is harder to find than the New York Yankees playoff hopes.   Her interview today with Sean Hannity hardly caused a stir, even though it was only her second one-on-one with the media.  Palin seemed much more relaxed and in command of the subject matter than during her Gibson interview, though Hannity mostly served up softballs.

Her next interview will be with Katie Couric, which should draw a huge number of eyeballs.  There's no doubt that Couric will give her a thorough cross examination, which should make for a high entertainment factor. 

With Palin-mania cooling off rapidly, maybe Team McCain will begin using her more aggressively with the national media in an effort to reclaim the agenda.  They need to change the conversation away from the economy, and she's probably their best chance.

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Reader Comments (14)


With all that's happening, it would be irresponsible to try to turn the conversation away from the second worst financial crisis in our history so we can talk about a hockey mom. Palin, if she knows anything about finance, economics and how the federal government works, should be out there talking facts and not platitudes about what we need to do.

Cut the PR. Would you have had tried to shift the conversation after 9/11 if you could?

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

Well said Sebastian. The economy will drown out the Palin love fest story for the rest of the campaign news cycle. To me, it puts this race back into the proper perspective. People on Main St. are also worried, they see their 401K dropping as fast as the NY Mets in a playoff race and then look at the related party tickets to see who can help them. Clearly, Palin is only making it worse for McCain in terms of the economy story. Had he chosen someone like Romney or someone else with economics experience they could have turned this markets mess into an advantage. Instead, their Palin selection got them an eight-day bump -- and then, poof.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Oh, come on. Well said? Asking why Palain has been noticeably quiet in past days raises an interesting point on political strategy. Palin is clearly not their best spokesperson for the financial/econ message. Team McCain is smart to recognize the fact. It makes sense for Palin to ride pine until the markets settle.

And get your facts straight. This isn’t the second worst crash in history. The DJIA’s off 8% since Monday. Off hand 1929 and 1987 we’re considerably worse. Yea, things are bad, but let’s not be hysterical. I agree there is important financial news occurring, we can still discuss issues relating to the upcoming elections.

And I’m sure the 3,000 families who lost kin on 9/11 would agree these events don’t remotely compare. Asinine.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

Palin brings nothing to this ticket other than a pretty face. She is a liability on foreign affairs and economy...two of the biggest platform issues in this campaign. She is on the sidelines because she has nothing to offer, which is kind of scary when you consider how close she is to running the country.

And her energy experise? That is a joke as well. This whole drill, drill, drill crap is so silly. As one of my favorite columnists Tom Friedman said, this statement is akin to technology people chanting "bring back typewriters." We are in a new world, where alternate energy sources are key, and she and McCain want to stay in the stone ages.

Hey folks, news alert: As I predicted re: Palin - The bloom is off the rose

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch


The market is down, but unraveling stock prices are not the hallmark of this event. It's more a meltdown than a crash.

We the taxpayers just spend $85 billion for AIG Of course we're getting 11% interest and are first in line for whatever they get as they sell off assets, so that's not bad.

But it's a company that insures about a trillion in assets. It's teetering and could go down. How big is that? We've lost Bear Stearns, Merrill, WaMu is on the ropes.

1987 was nowhere near this bad. We didn't have the national debt we do now. Japan had a good claim on our debt; but nothing like China. The Chinese put pressure on us to fix Fannie/Freddie, and we did. But the Chinese were preaching to the choir. Fannie/Freddie underwrote $4.7 trillion of the outstanding mortgages in the US. You're trying to tell me that the atmosphere in which they could fall isn't worse than 1987?

We're at a point where we're throwing so much money into the system that it either has to start, or the value of the dollar will be critically (hopefully not fatally) weakened. The last thing we need is dollar flight. I don't think we're there, but it's no longer a "ridiculously unlikely outcome".

When you stop spinnin' make sure you don't fall down.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

Sebastian, this AJ character knows more about his belly button lint that he does about the campaign. He likes to rip me on these posts, so it is good to see others tell the truth.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Sebastian, the market crash in 1987 was is in fact worse than the events of this week. The DJIA tumbled 3x more in one day than the total 8% skid this week. Read a book. And I’m not on commenting on whether the environment is potentially worse this go around. I don’t know the scope of fallout and neither do you. You're speculating

I just think it’s a little early to hit the panic button. Market corrections happen. Oh, and by the way, DJIA up over 100pts last I checked.

And what’s the truth, Mitchie? You have an Obama lunchbox and you plagiarize other political analysts. You got me there. Good for you.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

I support my candidate, yes. It is made so much easier when this McCain person and his trooper-gate scandal, i can see russia from my bedroom sexy mama candidate try to explain things.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

And keep in mind the economy grew at 3.3% last quarter -- not bad for an economy in "recession".

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNick

That is only because McCain bought 18 properties and his wife gave each of their gardeners a 10% raise.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

If you want to know why 9/11 came around to take Condit/Chandra/Cheney off the front pages, go to http://www.rickhyatt.freeservers.com/pages/911.html. That the quickly botched job of anthraxing Cheney's Coup D'etat opponents, as in the National Enquirer office is directly because: I'd been in contact with their reporter Robinson regarding a book on my past espionage experiences I'd had with Gary Condit and Dick Cheney ("Office of Economic Opportunity") in the mid '70's, and they subsequently printed that.
Having exposed the Enemy's highest-ranking moles in our government, and that which they do to get ahead ("Sexual Political Embarrassment Disposal Services) did they have to accelarate their plans for 9/11 - > 9/11/08. Just before these very important elections.
Ah, finally I can talk about it!

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRick A Hyatt


1987 was worse for the markets. Even with the crash, total return on stocks was 5% for the year. 2008 is worse for the system as a whole. The market had taken a discount for toxic CDO's around the time the talk was starting about rescuing Bear Stearns.

The big unknown was what would happen once companies would have to start moving large amounts of CDOs off their books in time for quarterly reports. We now know. The nice thing is that it's pretty easy to see which really smart people/companies made stupid decisions. Trouble is relegated to companies and narrow sectors.

The bad thing is that these companies and narrow sectors represent trillions of dollars as well as the backbone of the world financial system.

It's not a crash, it's a meltdown.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian


The 3.3 GDP number was the product of cooked books. Remember these are the same guys who hacked food and energy out of the inflation number, artificially understating it, and leaving us with the empy term "core inflation".

Here are some metrics during times when our economy has provided 3.3 GDP:

Comparing Current Economic Conditions With the Past: Prior Expansions of 3.0-3.5% GDP
Economic Data Point Q2 Latest value Median prior 12 months
Chained 2000 Dollars QoQ SAAR 3.30%
Unemployment Rate
Total in Labor Force SA 5.50% 5.70% 5.20%
Nonfarm Payrolls
Total Net Change SA From Year Ago 41,000 -67,000 2,570,500
ISM Manufacturing
PMI SA 50.2 49.9 53.1
Urban Consumers YoY NSA 5.00% 5.60% 2.90%
Finished Goods Total YoY NSA 9.20% 9.80% 1.70%
Industrial Production
YoY 2002=100 SA 0.20% -0.10% 4.60%
New Home Starts
Privately Owned Housing Units Started Total SAAR 1,084,000 965,000 1,483,000
Consumer Confidence
Conference Board SA 1985=100* 51 56.9 115.15

It's a common tactic for other presidents, but this one needed to make a souffle of the books in order to try to put a fig leaf on total failure. I'm surprised you didn't dig a little deeper seeing your edumacation in politics. This is a perfect scenario for presidential numbers manipulation.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

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