In early July, as the financial crisis spreads to Main Street, McCain campaign co-chair and former senator Phil Gramm appeals to voters
and their economic anxieties by calling them a "nation of whiners" and dismisses a troubled economy as a "mental recession."
McCain denounces his words and Gramm steps down, but the damage is done. -- By Nina Easton, Fortune Washington editorWhat do you think was the year's Dumbest Moment in Business?Join the discussion
now.NEXT: Bill Miller's bad bets