Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain to no-show at debate in ultimate act of political gamesmanship

John McCain tried the ultimate in political gamesmanship today and Obama called his bluff. McCain, who last week said the fundamentals of our economy were strong, today decided the country was in such dire straits that he needed to cancel Friday's first presidential debate to take care of it. In fact, McCain's campaign warned we could be facing another Great Depression by Monday if the bailout isn't addressed. Are they for real - how do you go from fundamentally strong to a depression within a week. The only bailout McCain is really interested in is a bailout of his failing campaign.

Obama didn't take the bait. He smartly responded by rejecting the proposal saying,
"Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time. It is not necessary for us to think we can do only one thing and suspend everything else."

McCain probably didn't expect Obama to call his bluff. His real intention was to take back control of the news cycle because he's been hammered all week long for his erratic comments about the economy. McCain said that he would fire the (Republican) head of the SEC, which the President can't do. He also slammed Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac for their failings and then outright denied the fact that his campaign manager was on Freddie Mac's payroll until their takeover by the government last month.

McCain's bad week was reflected in the latest polls. This morning, the Washington Post reported: "Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead Over McCain in Poll." The poll, which showed Obama with a 52-43 lead, found that: "Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving ...Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign... More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face."

McCain's false show of 'leadership' in the financial crisis is thinly veiled. It's about stopping the hemorraging from his campaign. The fact is, negotiations on the bailout are well underway on Capitol Hill, so McCain's delusion about riding in on a white horse to save the day are laughable. Funnier still is McCain's proposal that Friday's debate be moved to Oct 2, the date of the first VP debate between Palin and Biden, and that the VP debate be postponed or rescheduled for some time in the future (like when, Nov 5?). They must be terrified of Palin's performance. If she can't even talk to the press, how is she going to stand on a stage and answer hard-hitting questions for an hour.

Seeing McCain's political ploy for what it is, Obama said he was committed to holding the debate:

"With respect to the debates it is my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who in roughly 40 days will be responsible for this mess. I think it is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once."

Apparently, McCain can't do two things at once so he's calling for a time-out; maybe he needs nap time too. What's even more troubling than McCain's stunt is that he wasn't the first to suggest a bi-partisan approach to the bailout crisis. Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton issued a statement earlier today:

"At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama's call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details."

McCain then sent out an email at 2:56 PM Wednesday, designed to pre-empt Obama's joint statement, calling for a suspension of the campaigns and cancelling the debate. McCain's Hail Mary pass smacks of desperation. He is frantic to regain control of the news cycle and stop his sliding poll numbers. For all McCain's false bravado about the saving the day on the bailout negotiations, as recently as yesterday, when a reporter asked him about his position on the proposal, McCain said, “I have not had a chance to see it in writing." Originally (until the latest poll numbers), McCain McCain planned to skip the vote on the bailout and continue campaigning.
As it stands now, McCain says he'll only show up for the debate if a deal is reached by Friday on the bailout package. Let's pray that the Congress for once in it's existence can reach a deal quickly and force McCain to make good on his word and show up to debate - something he's clearly not prepared to do. If not, they should let Obama have one hour of uninterrupted air time on national TV.



raypc800 said...

McCain being ex military is trying a tactical strategy called retreat. McCain is attempting to gain time that he needs to try to regroup and inform himself and Palin on the issues. I hope that Obama and all others involved do not allow McCain the TIME that he so desperately desires. My advise is to hit McCain hard and keep hitting. Do not let him or his campaign get a breath.

We the people said...

~ failed attempt at hiding