Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain's Latest Political Stunt

John McCain's latest "you've got to be kidding" political stunt is his unilateral announcement that he is suspending his campaign and proposing a postponement of Friday's debate to rush back to Washington and tend to the financial crisis. Joe Klein of Time states the obvious.

McCain suspends his campaign because of financial crisis? Oh please. Given today's poll numbers--even Fox has him dropping--it seems another Hail Mary (like the feckless selection of Palin) to try make McCain seem a statesman, which is difficult given the puerile tenor of his campaign's message operation.

Perhaps, if he's really interested in this financial stuff, McCain should propose that he and Obama change the topic from foreign policy to economics this Friday night--they could even stage the debate in Washington, so they wouldn't have to stray far from the bailout negotiations. I'm sure their fellow members of the Senate won't mind if McCain and Obama spend a few hours enlightening the public on this crucial subject.

McCain's announcement came right after the release of the Fox News poll (45%-39% Obama) and the Washington Post poll (52%-43% Obama). Rumor has it that a deal is almost done in Washington already with the Bush administration caving on most major issues (independent oversight, limits on executive compensation for bailed-out firms, relief for distressed homeowners).

UPDATE: Josh Marshall reports (under the headline "Saving Sarah!"):

McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

So we need to put the country first and cancel the vice presidential debate.

More pundit responses (none of them positive) from both sides.

--Ballard Burgher

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