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“It’s the economy, stupid.”

This simple phrase was the touchstone of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign against H.W., who was trying to change the subject. The Clinton Administration presided over a period of booming economic growth, and that—more than his social or foreign policy records—is what he is remembered for.

When it comes down to social values, Democrats aren’t winning anyone over. But a healthy economy is one thing everyone can agree on—and it’s a battle that has been largely overshadowed in the early part of the millennium.

The treasury department announced a voluntary plan among lenders to help alleviate the pain of the sub-prime mortgage crisis by encouraging lenders to not increase interest rates on certain sub-prime loans. The idea is to stabilize the real estate economy to prevent economic growth from being undermined—and in the process, help out a few people who would otherwise lose their homes.

So before the Democrats leap feet-first into judgment, they should remember Clinton’s famous words. The subprime lending proposal should be evaluated strictly in terms of the health of the economy for everybody—and not just the advantage of a very small sectors such as the real estate and lending markets.

Democrats and Republicans alike don't place the economy at the forefront of their campaigns. But if partisan politicians aren't concerning themselves with the issue, the everyday American certainly is. When it comes to winning elections, the promise of a strong economy is an enticing one. The Democrats ought to use this opportunity to refocus attention where it has been severely lacking: the economy, stupid.