John McCain has discovered yet another shark to jump:
It's not at all unreasonable to wonder if there's just something wrong with John McCain.McCain suspends his campaign, and asks to postpone Friday's debate, to address the financial crisis.
Both candidates have been marginal players; McCain, though, seems to have the potential to make himself a major one, and his move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn't like the way this campaign is going.
But in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that's changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.
Apparently, as McCain sees it, 10 days after the Wall Street crisis began, now he wants to head back to Capitol Hill to do some work. Of course, lawmakers and administration officials have been working quite a bit, but McCain, who has played no direct role in the negotiations thus far, wants to swoop in and tell everyone what they need to do. This from a man who
hasn't shown up for work at all in literally months.
What's more, after whining incessantly for months about the need for one-on-one debates, McCain has decided, just 48 hours before the first official debate, that everything should be postponed. And Barack Obama should go along with all of this, because McCain says so.
I've never even heard of a presidential candidate acting in such a reckless, compulsive, and ultimately haphazard fashion. McCain just decided to "suspend" campaign activities? This rivals picking Sarah Palin for the ticket on the list of desperation moves.
This might deceive some extremely gulliable voters, but I do believe the majority are going to see this for what it is: total fucking useless grandstanding. The last person capable of solving our economic ills is John "Keating Five" McCain.
Here's what I think: he's shit scared of Obama. He knows he's going to get trounced in Friday's debate. He knows his campaign is fucked beyond recognition. He's watching his poll numbers sink like a 700 billion pound anchor, and this is all he can pull out of his ass. It's pathetic.
Obama is, justifiably, quite amused:
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) just gave a press conference responding to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) suggestion that they both suspend their campaigns, postpone Friday’s debate in Mississippi, and return to Washington to deal with the financial crisis. Obama said that he would like to the debate to go forward as planned because “it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once”:With respect to the debates, it’s my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess. And I think that it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once. I think there’s no reason why we can’t be constructive in helping to solve this problem and also tell the American people what we believe and where we stand and where we want to take the country.
I can hear a quiet chuckle under all that. It's absolutely pathetic that a man who wants to be Commander in Chief can't handle campaigning while also doing his job as a Senator. If the moron can't multi-task, he's unfit for the duty.
But that's politics, you might be saying. What if Senator McCain is desperately needed during this crisis? Let's see if anybody else thinks so.
A Democratic source says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just spoke to John McCain today, and told him on the phone that it "wouldn't be helpful" for him to return to Washington.
Noper. Nancy Pelosi?
Today on NPR, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Someone had suggested that he wanted the debate to be postponed so he could come here to work. I mean, he’s so rarely here that that would be interesting. But, nonetheless, I think there’s plenty of time for the debate to take place.”
Hell to the no.
It might be a good idea, then, for McCain to give up on the idea of riding to Wall Street's rescue and turn his attention to figuring out how he's going to make Sarah Palin capable of answering questions from the press:
John McCain and Sarah Palin met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvilli and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, and in a break from preferred campaign policy, reporters were briefly allowed into the room for the photo-op. Big mistake.McCain then looked around the room and gestured as if to welcome questions. The AP reporter shouted a question at Gov. Palin ("Governor, what have you learned from your meetings?") but McCain aide Brooke Buchanan intervened and shepherded everybody out of the room.
Palin looked surprised, leaned over to McCain and asked him a question, to which your pooler thinks he shook his head as if to say "No."
The McCain campaign apparently believes the Republican vice presidential nominee is some kind of child, under strict instructions not to speak. Palin has no doubt been receiving extensive briefings on a variety of subjects, and could probably handle a random question or two, but the McCain gang is so convinced of her incompetence, they're just not willing to take the risk -- even after a genuine media backlash has begun in earnest in response to the campaign's heavy-handed approach.
You know, if you're chosing a running mate, it seems like a good idea to pick one that's capable of facing that nasty liberal media instead of being kept in a protective bubble. Just sayin'.
Of course, when she is allowed to speak to the press, you can kind of get an idea as to why the campaign would rather she keep her mouth shut:
In her interview with Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) tonight, CBS’s Katie Couric noted that the governor has said, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” “Can you give us any more examples of his leading the charge for more oversight?” Couric asked. Palin, however, refused to answer the question directly, instead going on about how McCain is seen as a “maverick.” When pressed further by Couric, Palin was unable to name any examples of McCain pushing for more regulation:PALIN: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.
COURIC: I’m just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.
PALIN: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.
Brilliant. She's not a pit bull with lipstick: she's a golden retriever.
The McCain campaign's habit of endless lies, political showboating, and denying press access is causing some folks in the press to draw parallels to other countries - you know, the kind of countries we excoriate for their political and human rights abuses:
Yesterday, media covering Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) visit to the United Nations revolted when the McCain-Palin campaign tried to back out of its promise to allow journalists to cover
the governor’s meetings with various world leaders. Last night on MSNBC, chief
foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell compared the whole affair to her experiences trying to cover the regimes in North Korea, Syria, and Sudan:MADDOW: You have covered these sort of high level meetings with foreign dignitaries, getting at least one editorial staff member in the room to represent the entire network is standard practice, right?, like in Pyongyang or in Damascus.
MITCHELL: It is standard practice. It’s standard for the White House, for the State Department. And often we are in foreign countries where it is not standard practice
When the McCain campain reminds reporters of the repressive habits of dictatorships, it's really not a good sign.