The McCain team is trying to stave off panic at a time of trouble for the nation – and for the campaign. He’s doing this with an issue that has tormented him: the economy.

John McCain has careened from stance to stance on the economy, starting with saying the fundamentals are sound, focusing on earmarks, applauding new powers for the Treasury Department, then advocating a bailout for homeowners. In a matter of weeks, McCain has gone from being a conventional tax-cutting conservative to a big-government interventionist.

Politico reports that among the ideas that have been considered are a bigger tax deduction for middle class mortgages, and more a more robust loan program for small businesses. But officials said the front-burner ideas all dealt specifically with markets.

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