Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Breaking .... McCain calls for postponement of Friday debate to deal with the financial problem

This news actually broke about an hour ago while I was in the chatroom for the Ed Morrissey Show, and I'm just now getting to it. From ABC's Political Radar:

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and Rick Klein report: Sen. John McCain on Wednesday said he would “suspend” his presidential campaign to come to Washington to help negotiate a financial bailout bill, a dramatic move designed to seize a powerful issue.

However a senior Obama campaign official said Obama "intends to debate."

"The debate is on," a senior Obama campaign official told ABC News.

McCain said he called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to postpone the debate scheduled for Friday in Mississippi, to ensure quick congressional action. The campaign is also suspending its advertising, pending an agreement with Obama.

“I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me,” McCain planned to say in New York City, according to advance excerpts released by his campaign. “I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”

OK, some are saying this is a bad move, and a few are even saying this is some sort of stunt being pulled by McCain. We don't think it's a stunt. We genuinely believe that McCain is showing the nation that he means business when he says he wants to be the president, and that he is putting the country first. We do think it's a mistake for him to suspend his ads which Allah noted in his post on this because, while John McCain may want to put partisanship aside, we know Obama won't, especially after the polls released today. Obama is up again, and there is no reason why he'd pull his ads. So, if McCain will listen to our advice, keep the ads running.

We think it's a smart move for him to do this because now Obama is on the record as saying he won't give up the debate. A minor postponement wouldn't hurt either candidate, nor would it hurt Ole Miss despite their whining that such a move would be "devastating" to the university. Please, what would be more devastating than not going back to Washington to hammer out a bailout plan? A postponement for a week wouldn't hurt the university, and it surely wouldn't hurt them the way the financial markets are hurting Americans right now.

What's interesting is that Obama wants to do the debate -- a debate focusing on foreign policy -- which isn't exactly his strong point in the campaign. One would think he'd welcome the chance to hold off, go back to Washington to show the country he is committed to fixing problems we have, maybe bone up a little on foreign policy, and head into the debate with fresh legs. Obviously he'd rather roll the dice. On the Ed Morrissey show when he had Jim Geraghty on (sounding much better today than he was yesterday on Hugh Hewitt's show) it was posited that maybe they could switch the Veep and Presidential debates; that you have the Veep debate this Friday, and McCain and Obama could trade blows on 2 October instead.

It wouldn't be a bad switch, but it'd be unprecedented. The Veeps always go after the top of the tickets have their first or second debates. And given Biden's recent string of gaffes, this Friday he might not be ready to deal with Palin, who has sharpened her attacks on the Obama/Biden ticket in recent days. We doubt they'll flip-flop the debates, and McCain will likely show up for the debate this Friday. That said, we doubt there'll be much talk of foreign policy at the debate, should it go on. This will likely end up being an economic debate, and foreign policy will be the focus of the debate originally slated to focus on economics.

We think this was a shrewd move on McCain's part, and it could have repercussions on Obama if he doesn't return to Washington. That remains to be seen, but this story from Jonathan Martin makes us think that Obama isn't suspending his campaigning:

Barack Obama indicated this afternoon he intended to go forward with Friday's debate as planned, saying "it's more important than ever" that the presidential candidates lay out their principles to voters.

"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," Obama told reporters at a news conference in Florida.

He said that he, McCain and other officials could address the crisis in a bipartisan fashion and still go on with the campaign.

"In my mind, actually, it's more important than ever that we present ourselves to the American people and try to describe where we want to take the country and where we want to take the economy as well as dealing with some of the issues of foreign policy that were initially the subject of the debate."

He's obviously talking about the debate, but he threw in that throwaway about still being able to campaign. This is exactly why we're saying it's a bad move for McCain to suspend his ad campaign. If Sarah Palin is still out there on the stump, then the ads should be running, too. And Mr. Martin also notes that Ole Miss says the debate is going forward, regardless. To be fair, it's not exactly their choice. The candidates do have a say. What if you held a debate, and neither contender showed up, hmm?

Seriously though, McCain's right. Both men need to go back to Washington and deal with this. They're elected men of the senate, and their duty is to the country first and foremost. Oh, and one last thing. For the liberals out there that claim McCain did this because he's scared, recall, if you will that it was McCain who challenged Obama to ten townhall debates, after Obama said he'd debate him "anywhere, anytime." What did Obama do? Yep, that's right, he reneged on that statement. So, who's the one afraid to debate?

Publius II

ADDENDUM: This was just announced on Hugh Hewitt's show. A McCain campaign spokesman e-mailed in and said that Obama NEVER called McCain today about this despite the fact that Obama is bragging he did.

Obama isn't suspending his campaign, and he's not going back to DC to do his job as an elected senator. If this is the change he's talking about, this nation can do without it.


Anonymous OPEN REAL DEBATES said...

Will you accept the scripted Presidential 'debate' again?
Brought to you by your 'good friends' at Wall Street.

No Paul or Nader Main Street USA,
nor Cynthia McKinney...

September 24, 2008 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger TLindaman said...

This is going to come back to bite Obama BIG on the backside. While McCain looks like he gives a damn about the American people, Obama looks like a spoiled brat.

September 24, 2008 at 6:27 PM  

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