The Joke's on You

The back and forth between John McCain and Barack Obama over VP vetter Jim Johnson's mortgages is pretty funny — maybe the two candidates could actually trade Charlie Black and Jim Johnson and declare a truce.

But has the McCain campaign noticed the new economic policy adviser just hired? Jason Furman, who at 37 years old is an expert in fiscal policy, has such an impressive resume that you have to wonder if he started college at age 6. Furman has served as staff economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Clinton, was senior director for the National Economic Council, has worked at the World Bank, earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University and was an economic adviser to John Kerry in 2004. And according to the New York Sun Furman is a Wal-Mart defender. In 2005 he published a paper titled "Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story," heralding the consumer savings delivered by the chain that is considered a corporate bogeyman to many Democrats.

It should be noted that Obama used the company in one his most aggressive outbursts against Hillary Clinton at a debate early on in the primary season. "While I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart," Obama said.

Of course, McCain isn't criticizing Wal-Mart. But he may find this funny.

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DO ANY OF YOU CARE ABOUT THE CHARLIE BLACK/JIM JOHNSON ROLES IN EITHER CAMPAIGN? Ask A.B. returns Monday, June 16 — Please join my weekly video Q & A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.