Let's state outright a few obvious points. Bringing the presidential candidates and their press entourages back to Capitol Hill won't speed or improve the process of coming up with a good bailout deal. It will politicize it. That's so transparently obvious that it barely requires stating. And of course that is the point.
By going public with his 'suspension' announcement as a breaking news statement McCain intended to make any agreement between the candidate impossible. Contrast that with Obama's campaign, which apparently tried to get both campaigns to agree on a common set of principles privately before going public. There's no logical reason there can't be a presidential debate while a bailout plan is being negotiated.
Finally, does anyone think that McCain would have come up with this gambit if his polls were where they were two weeks ago instead of where they are today? Of course, not. This isn't a reaction to the national financial crisis but to the McCain polling crisis.
The McCain supporters who are cheering this aren't doing so because they think it's the right thing to do but because they hope it's ingenious politics.
He's desperate and reckless. This is what it appears to be: political stunt dressed up as vainglorious self-sacrifice. In other words, typical John McCain.
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.
The McCain campaign is running on fumes at this point. They've been all over the map on the financial crisis. Both McCain and Palin are afraid to meet with reporters and answer actual questions. Even their prepared statements barely make sense anymore. They're completely at sea.
And now this. Obama calls McCain to privately work out a genuinely bipartisan statement about the bailout bill, and McCain immediately panics and runs off to the TV cameras to offer up a faux public one instead (and then leaves without taking questions, of course). A joint statement? Hah! Too puny. I dare Senator Obama to suspend our campaigns, sequester ourselves from the American public, and hold photo ops on Capitol Hill instead! In fact, I double dare him!
Sheesh. It's time for the Drama King to take his bows and exit stage right. Enough.
"You don't suspend your campaign. This doesn't smell right. This isn't the way a tested hero behaves." And he joked: "I think someone's putting something in his metamucil."
"He can't run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?"
"What are you going to do if you're elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We've got a guy like that now!"
Obama says 'no'
Is this all about postponing the VP debate?
oh, joy. now bush is on my teevee.