Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain pulls second surreal campaign maneuver

This is just absurd. I just heard the John McCain statement about suspending the campaign on the Rachel Maddow Show. Initially, I thought that this was a joke, compiled of snippets of his speech.

McCain's move to "suspend his campaign" is crass grandstanding.

What John McCain should have been doing previously has been attending Senate sessions for votes. McCain has not been in the Senate for a vote since April. Admittedly, Obama has been away from Washington, but only since July.

Secondly, what McCain should have been doing was giving serious attention to the economy. Instead, as recently as nine days ago, he said "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." Maybe McCain is exercising damage control, trying to erode the memory of this unfortunate and clumsy assessment of the economy.

True, the financial system is in a dire condition, but you do not flee from crises during election time. Let's look at past moments of crisis and election campaigns. In 1864, when Abraham Lincoln was facing a formidable challenge from the Copperhead Democrats, he did not suspend his campaign. In the 1930s, in the depths of the depression, did Hoover, Roosevelt or Roosevelt's challengers suspend their campaigns. In World War II, Roosevelt did not suspend his campaign.

McCain's Sarah Palin choice was surreal and an unsettling enough demonstration of his maverick character, this new campaign-suspension maneuver suggests that McCain is impulsive character --not someone you want as a leader in crises. It suggests that he cannot handle multiple crises, as presidents and presidential candidates must be prepared to do. This wild move by McCain provides one more indication that he is not the right person for the job, and is lacking in sound judgment. As David Bender said tonight, filling in for Rachel Maddow, on Air America, panic is not the feeling that one should be spreading in this period. McCain, by this irresponsible move, is acting in a way that lends to panic, and does not lend to public confidence.

Just to offer a speculative consideration (and offering an analysis by one of Binder's radio guests tonight), Sarah Palin is scheduled to debate Joe Biden next week, on October 2. Palin is a disaster, and is unprepared to face Washington veteran Biden in a debate on the issues. Suspension of the campaign offers the chance to sideline Palin out of the scrutiny of an unscripted debate.

This campaign interruption sidelines the (McCain campaign top advisor) Rick Davis disaster. The press on Davis and his hefty lobbying payments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are a public relations disaster for the McCain campaign. Perhaps McCain was fishing for any move that he imagine would do anything to deflect attention from Davis.

Barack Obama and the Democratic Party should not fall for McCain
responsible, reckless gambit.
The Obama campaign is remaining steadfast for this Friday: "Obama: The Debate is On."

UPDATE: At Truthdig, we have the contributor who writes, "Now McCain Wants to Cancel the VP Debate."
The intro paragraphs of the post,
Was this the plan all along? CNN reports that Team McCain wants the first presidential debate to “take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday” if there’s no bailout deal by Friday.

Senate Democrats appear to have made a deal with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and President Bush has invited both of the presidential candidates, along with other lawmakers, to the White House on Thursday to discuss the proposed solution to the financial crisis.

No comments: