Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain's suspension of his campaign sounds like another ploy (is it coincidence this came on day Obama jumps ahead by 9% in the Washington Post/ABC poll?). The fact is many hours prior to this announcement, Obama's camp contacted McCain's to offer the idea of both candidates endorsing a joint, agreed-upon set of principles regarding the bailout plan. Sounds like a good idea, right? McCain said yes but then shortly after announced the bizarre suggestion to postpone the debate so that he could rush back to Washington to pitch in (finally) to the effort.

After McCain received the call from Obama, McCain's advisers likely surmised that 1) they had to say yes but 2) they then had to figure out a way to derail Obama's offer by one-upping him, otherwise Obama looks that much better since he took the initiative. So how to top him? Suspend campaign and debate.

The reasoning there probably went 1) McCain can appear patriotic (put aside politics for sake of country, as with the hurricane and convention), 2) if Obama balks will make Obama look like the craven politician, and 3) if they both decide to go ahead with the debate, McCain can mention on stage that he really wanted to be elsewhere, helping decide the fate of our country, AND may even get the bonus of garnering viewer sympathies by stating this aloud, not just for patriotic reasons but because he didn't really want to be there and thus any poor performance could be excused (he was distracted, not focused, mind on our country's future, etc.).

That said I fully expect to see him show up for the debate because if not and he goes to Washington, come Monday we'll expect great things, great progress, and he'll have nothing to show us, so this is all a setup.

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