McCain’s Distraction: Slipping Candidate Calls “Time Out”


McCain has slipped in the polls. The economic disaster that began in America and is now trickling down throughout the rest of the world has put him in a spotlight he’d rather not be in. Why? Simply put, McCain’s policies are the same ones that got us where we are today. What else? Well, McCain doesn’t have a solid solution to the problem and knows that Obama has a good chance of making him look bad in this Friday’s debate. As good a debater as McCain may be, all eyes are strongly focused on the economy and it’s gonna be tricky to skirt this particular issue with stolen slogans and talk of Iraq. 

This morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain asking him to join forces in coming up with a joint solution for a financial bailout package. While Senator McCain agreed, he made his first move to “suspend’ his presidential campaign and ask that tomorrow night’s debate be postponed. His stated reason? “Country first”. But most agree that Obama and McCain suspending their campaigns and going to Washington would be of little help and might, in fact, delay results. 

Is the country better served by having the two presidential candidates suspend their campaigns–and engage directly in the negotiations, as McCain just urged? I’m not so sure. I, for one, think Congress has been handling this pretty well so far. The Bush Administration came to them with an obviously flawed package. They responded with appropriate skepticism and are busy coming up with what look like sensible alternatives. Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic.

I understand that the candidates are putting together a joint statement at Senator Obama’s suggestion. But it would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy. If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.

If there were ever a time for both candidates to hold a debate before the American people about this serious challenge, it is now.–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

John McCain has skipped more votes during this session than any member of the Senate except for Tim Johnson, who had major brain surgery. All of a sudden, McCain demands that the presidential race shut down so he can return to Washington? —Nico Pitney, Huffington Post.

[McCain’s] move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn’t like the way this campaign is going… The only thing that’s changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.–Ben Smith, Politico.com.

So, in the midst of an uproar that McCain has been alienating the press to the point where journalists have dubbed his campaign bus the “No Talk Express“, McCain wants to keep any honest (or even dishonest) debate away from public eyes and ears just a little while longer. Kind of like stalling “Troopergate” till after the election, no? Hopefully this won’t fly and the debate will go on as scheduled. As always, distraction is the best medicine when you find yourself in a jam. 

As Michael D. Shear of the Washington Post pointed out two days ago:

The country may have turned its attention to the economic crisis and a staggering $700 billion bailout proposal, but political operatives still have their eyes on other issues.

Among them, for the Democrats, is keeping track of how long it’s been since the Republican presidential ticket has answered questions from the media. A Web site keeps track.

As of this writing, it has been 39 days and 22 hours since Sen. John McCain last held a news conference (despite having promised to hold weekly Q&A sessions with the press if he’s elected). According to the Democrats, it’s been 24 days and 11 hours since his running mate, Sarah Palin, held one.

Not the most important issue of the day, perhaps. But maybe the most ironic, given where McCain and Palin were Monday: In Media, Pa.

Where they didn’t take questions.

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McCain’s Distraction: Slipping Candidate Calls “Time Out”

One thought on “McCain’s Distraction: Slipping Candidate Calls “Time Out”

  1. It’s more of a symbolic gesture that stresses how important it is to solve this crisis, and it also could be the savior or death knell of the McCain campaign.

    In short: gutsy.

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