McCain falling falling falling
A letter from John McCain, introducing Carly Fiorina, in today's mail

John McCain & Chris Cox

The blog of The Wall Street Journal reports:

John McCain has two words for Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox: You’re Fired.

“The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and has betrayed the public’s trust. If I were president today, I would fire him,” McCain says, according to excerpts for a speech on reforming the ailing U.S. financial markets he will deliver today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Bill O'Reilly is also down on Cox:
The Securities and Exchange Commission is supposed to protect investors, the folks, from cheaters and irresponsible risk takers. Former California Congressman Chris Cox is the head of the SEC, and he issued no warning at all about the bad lending practices that have caused the U.S. economy to wilt. Mr. Cox did not look out for the folks.
The puzzling thing is that not long ago, back in March, Robert Novack reported that conservatives were pushing Cox as a possible running mate for McCain:
CHRIS Cox for VP?
Former conservative colleagues in the House of Representatives are boosting Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission since 2005, to be Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate.

A White House aide under President Reagan, Cox served 16 years as a congressman from Newport Beach and was chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. He was named as a federal appeals court judge to begin President George W. Bush's administration, but withdrew after Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California announced her opposition.

Former Rep. Rob Portman of Ohio, who also was a member of the House leadership before joining the Bush Cabinet, is being promoted for vice president by Washington insiders. But Cox's backers in the House argue that Portman lacks Cox's stature in the conservative movement, which they say McCain needs.

The American Spectator, back on March 6th, pushed Cox as "The best choice, bar none" for a running mate for McCain:
Cox is well thought of by just about every conservative columnist around, and respected by the David Broder institutionalists for his brains, diligence, and decency. He could probably help at least a little in Minnesota, where he grew up, and of course he is a favorite of the Californians he represented in Congress. Of great significance, perhaps, McCain himself was asked two Fridays ago at a bloggers' briefing which states he thought he might be able to move from the Democratic to the Republican column, and his first answer, the one he focused most on, was California. And McCain is sure to appreciate Cox's grit in coming back from a horrendous off-road vehicle accident three decades ago that left him partially paralyzed for a while.
So what's up with McCain's pronouncement today? Looks like scapegoating to me. That and political cannibalism.

Reuters reports that Bush still supports Cox.

McCain is apparently unaware that Presidents cannot "fire" SEC chairs. John Nichols at The Nation remarks:

Someone on McCain's staff will have to inform him that president's cannot "fire" SEC chairs -- the heads of independent regulatory commissions, once their presidential nominations are confirmed by the Senate, serve terms that they are allowed to finish. At the most, McCain could merely pressure Cox to quit.