On McCain’s Call to Postpone Debate, What Do You Think?

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obama_mccain.jpg
John McCain has suspended his campaign activities and is calling for Friday night’s debate to be postponed so that he and his party, and Barack and his, can work on resolving the nation’s financial crisis. He has called on Obama to do the same.
I think that this move is part of McCain’s campaign. It’s cynical and wrong.
The debates are a time to connect with Americans on issues of importance to them — in something more than a 30-second sound bite. It’s a good time to compare and contrast how the candidates view the social contract in the nation — the role of capital, firms, workers and their families — and of course, government.
Talking about this financial crisis and the particular approaches Obama and McCain might take deserves to be front and center of the viewing audience on Friday.
Trying to pull the plug on the debate is another way of saying that John McCain wants the flexibility to work outside the public spotlight and behind closed doors on the economic crisis.
I would argue the same thing if Obama had suggested a postponement of the debate.
And to be square, I think Obama made a major mistake by largely ignoring the Russia-Georgia conflict while he was vacationing in Hawaii. Obama should have been on line working hard to absorb the issues in that national security crisis — and even if he didn’t return from Hawaii, he should have flown in the best and brightest minds on NATO, Russia, Europe, and grand strategy that he could muster and have them meet him on the beach.
We shouldn’t be too enthused with presidential candidates who want to vacation and buffer themselves when real world crises strike — and we shouldn’t tolerate a suspension of campaign activity and postponement of a vital issues-oriented debate so that our potential president can huddle in back rooms with his party colleagues in ways that public cannot scrutinize.
It’s wrong — both should be up front, on camera, talking to the nation about the great challenges we are facing.
No postponement.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

84 comments on “On McCain’s Call to Postpone Debate, What Do You Think?

  1. Kathleen says:

    arthurdecco… I’m in really good company here…lately, The Washington Note is the only way I can handle the “news”…. and the comments here make better punditry than anything I see on MSM…I learn so much here.

    Reply

  2. arthurdecco says:

    Kathleen said:
    “I’m so cynical, I always vote by absentee ballot on Halloween just to remind myself it’s a trick, not a treat…”
    THIS is why I continue to read the Washington Note! The quality of Kathleen’s comment is NOT uncommon here. (including many of the contributions of its host. [wink])

    Reply

  3. Kathleen says:

    Liz…I too thought it was rather curious that McPain would cancel his campaign ads…what’s up with that?
    I can see a possible rationale for cancelling some campaign appearances to go back to D.C. and appear to be on the job, but why cancel ads….why say you are suspending your campaign…isn’t that rather strong language, if you are only canceling some appearances….normally, suspending one’s campaing means you’ve ceased running for that office…
    I think there’s a great deal more to this than meets the eye…. and finding a rationale for cancelling the elections altogether is something I have felt for ages is on their books…
    On the debates…ever since they were taken away from the League of Women Voters, who instituted the tradition of Presidential debates, the “debates'” don’t really qualify as debates….they are more like Mr. America contests…I think it would be just as useful to have each candidate on C-Span answering call-in questions from the public at large which hopefully will include experts on various subjects.
    I’m so cynical, I always vote by absentee ballot on Halloween just to remind myself it’s a trick, not a treat..

    Reply

  4. roger says:

    McCain is looking really bad. I wonder if the melanoma is going to
    his brain.

    Reply

  5. Tahoe Editor says:

    again — demonstrating the vacuousness of the Democratic Party. The Dems thought they had a trump card by yelling “she was for the bridge before she was against it” — now you’re trying to coopt the GOP’s purple Band-Aids. It doesn’t work — you need original ideas. Keep trying.

    Reply

  6. uucbvu says:

    Who is mocking McCain’s boo boos he carries from the war? I read the whole thread and see not one iota about war wounds except from Tahoe. And as for his war wounds tell him the STFU we know all about it. Give him some purple Band-Aids and have him STFU. Doesn’t he know there is a financial crisis for Christ’s sake, and he’s got to babble on about Vietnam. Zounds!
    He should do very well in the debate. “Bomb, bomb bomb …. bomb, bomb Iran (creepy smile).”

    Reply

  7. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama’s original debate proposal: July 4th or never. Who’s the pussy?
    Whether the Ole Miss debate goes down Friday or Tuesday is neither here nor there. Crying that the candidates must debate national security while the global financial markets crumble and credit freezes across the nation is INANE.
    Obama is being led around the country, asking others what he should do and showing no leadership whatsoever.
    And of course mocking McCain’s war wounds is the sort of nonsense that Joe Biden himself called “terrible.”
    Please, elaborate.

    Reply

  8. Dora says:

    Just show up to the debate, punk.

    Reply

  9. Tahoe Editor says:

    “wrikly old & nasty” attacks are great red meat for the Kos crowd. But as Billy C has noted, it’s not a vote-getter, and it actually hurts your case. You’re steeped in a great Democrat tradition, Dora.
    I think Dems are so afraid of power and responsibility that they actually hope to lose so they can keep up their whining and complaints from the sidelines.

    Reply

  10. Dora says:

    The market was way up today. The congress has a bailout bill ready to go. The global financial crisis is postponed. And all because John McCain showed up in Washington today; superhero.
    With all that under his belt he should not be so afraid of debating Obama unless he is afraid of making an ass of himself because he doesn’t know shit and he’s old, wrinkly old and nasty, vs. cool.
    He should fake a heart attack next to get out of it.

    Reply

  11. Tahoe Editor says:

    You are deluded. Obama has been ducking debates since the snows if Iowa. McCain wants to debate — he just wants to save the global financial markets first. What’s more important? A global financial meltdown or a domestic campaign/media event in Mississippi? Delaying the first debate a couple days is perfectly reasonable. Screaming up and down that nothing can change and we must debate national security issues in the next 24 hours while the world’s financial markets crumble is brainless.
    Of course Obama could never have suggested delaying the debate by a day or two because HE’s the one who’s been ducking debates all along, and that would look really bad for him … he’s stuck between his own rock and his own hard place. “Call me if you need me” is not leadership — nor is being led around the country by Bush & McCain. Obama looks rigid, clueless & weak.
    Bill Clinton: Don’t ‘Overly Parse’ McCain Request to Delay Debate
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/bill-clinton-do.html

    Reply

  12. Dora says:

    Tahoe, yeah, but big bad POW McCain is afraid to debate Obama. Why is Mr. Heroic afraid ?

    Reply

  13. Tahoe Editor says:

    PRINCETON, NJ — John McCain has gained ground and is now tied with Barack Obama among registered voters in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update for Sept. 22-24, with each candidate getting 46% support.
    This update covers interviewing conducted Monday through Wednesday, and as such includes one night after McCain’s announcement that he was suspending election campaigning and flying to Washington to help seek a bipartisan solution to the financial crisis.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/110668/Gallup-Daily-Race-Back-Tie-46-Each.aspx

    Reply

  14. Steve says:

    If this is the way McCain campaigns (not just this stunt, but all the rest of the lies and other stunts), imagine how he will govern!
    It will be Bush all over again; smoke and mirrors and posturing, rather than clear discussions on policy; politics and ideology, rather than crafting effective solutions to problems.

    Reply

  15. Cee says:

    Jesus. That photo of McCain should be sent to his oncologist.

    Reply

  16. ... says:

    >>Posted by Tahoe Editor Sep 24, 8:16PM – Link
    Keep it up! Nothing like watching liberals chew their own appendages off.<<
    take a look at where america is at with 8 years of bush and a republican led gov’t and that is the idea one comes away with : they are pissing the future of tomorrow away for a stupid war and a fiasco economically, that has finally become apparent to the average joe… use all the hate words you want, the fact remains the present reality is visible for all to see and it ain’t pretty… who do we get to thank for it??? a conservative???? now the word conservative is looking a lot more contrived then liberal ever could… conservative means less then shit thanks to bush and his band of buffoons..

    Reply

  17. bob h says:

    Yesterday morning Biden eviscerated the McCain foreign policy “expertise”. I wonder whether that played a factor in McCain’s attempt to duck the first debate.
    What we are seeing here is a man’s character revealed; he is unfit to hold the Presidency.

    Reply

  18. JK says:

    Tragically, the Presidential and VP debates will be a joke and a fraud as long as they held hostage by the CULT OF CELEBRITY JOURNALISM.
    TV news anchors and talk show hosts should never be allowed to ask debate questions. They lack the basic knowledge to ask intelligent, probing questions.
    Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer and their colleagues who moderated the party presidential debates know nothing about economics, healthcare, energy policy, foreign policy, etc.
    Because they lack a genuine understanding of issues, Lehrer, Schieffer, etc. trivialize these proceedings by posing silly, simplistic Gotcha questions, “What Would You If” questions, “Will You Pledge” questions, and Polling/Campaign Tactics questions.
    Questions for Party Presidential debates, General Election Presidential debates, and VP debates should be posed by a panel of subject specialist experts on economics, healthcare, foreign policy, etc. chosen from liberal and conservative think tanks and foundations such as the Brookings Institution, AEI, IPS, CSIS, Ctr for American Progress, New America Fdn, Kaiser Family Fdn, CFR, etc.
    I’d like to see a debate on foreign policy where the candidates answer questions from Steve Clemons, Steve Coll, Flynt Leverett, and Anthony Cordesman.
    I’d like to see a debate covering executive privilege, judicial appointments, the unitary executive, and Congressional oversight where the candidates answer questions from Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann.

    Reply

  19. kotzabasis says:

    This is another resounding failure by Obama in his test of leadership. As to reject McCain’s proposal to postpone their debate is to reject the expeditious implementation of a plan, which presently has been ‘obstructed’ by Congress, that has a better chance than none to prevent the economic collapse of America.
    A plan that has been put in place by the experts in the field and not by atavistic “tzu-tzu” practitioners or by populist nostrums a la Dan Kervick. Obama being confident that the debate will be immensely favourable to his electoral position is willing to put at risk the whole American economy and the vital interests of the “main street” which he professes to represent, all for the sake of winning the election.

    Reply

  20. Tahoe Editor says:

    “I just don’t believe that, you know, getting up here and hyperventilating about Governor Palin or Senator McCain, for that matter, is a product use of a former president’s time, and is not a vote-getter.”
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0809/24/lkl.01.html

    Reply

  21. Tahoe Editor says:

    “mussing thangs up” defined as asking questions before handing Hanky P a $700B check, yes, the Republican Party is “mussing thangs up”. It’s a rift, a rift that McCain, as the leader of his party, must address. He’s going to demonstrate “leadership”. Yes, it’s theatrics, but perception is reality in politics and it’s going to be about McCain showing leadership while Obama says, “Hey y’all, Harry & Nancy have it all under control. I’m just a ‘president on call’.”
    Bill Clinton with Larry King tonight is required viewing/reading. I’ll post some salient passages once the transcript is released.

    Reply

  22. SBC says:

    McCain wants to push back Friday’s debate and then cancel the VP
    debate. He has no faith in Palin’s ability to speak on subject in a
    real live debate. If he could, Palin would have an earpiece in her ear
    to Joe Lieberman.

    Reply

  23. Liz says:

    I get it now. The brains that caused the crisis met with John McCain today and basically told him: “Johnny boy, we own your ass, now get it back to Washington and protect Wall Street’s interests.” McCain is just obeying his Masters.
    From the front page of the WSJ online:
    “Another key event: a roundtable Wednesday morning with some of Wall Street’s biggest names — financial titans who told him that the financial crisis bill must be passed soon. “We urged John to get all over it, that this is a national-security crisis,” one financial executive said.
    The financial executives, who were informed only Tuesday that Sen. McCain wanted to meet with them the next day, included Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Vice Chairman James Lee and private-equity fund owner Henry Kravis.”

    Reply

  24. Jason says:

    Here is why McCain’s move doesn’t pass the smell
    test.
    The only need for Obama or McCain to go to
    Washington at this point and “work something out”
    is if the negotiations were going poorly and about
    to fall apart. They are not. The exact opposite is
    happening. The of the bailout bill is better today
    than it was on Monday, and much better than on
    Friday when it was originally proposed. The bill
    has improved from Poulson’s horrible proposal.
    More Senators and Representatives are coming on
    board.
    By some accounts, the negotiations are entering
    the final stage. The only thing that changed was a
    set of horrible polling numbers for McCain on
    Tuesday.
    The worst thing in the world at this point would
    be for McCain or Obama to publicly interfere and
    further politicize the process. These two are the
    heads of their parties. If they wanted to
    influence the situation or get things rolling,
    they could easily do that privately and without
    danger of breaking up the fragile negotiations by
    politicizing them.
    And the idea that McCain, a man with no economic
    expertise and a fairly unimportant player in this
    process, can’t take 3 hours out of his day to talk
    about important issues to the American people with
    Obama is ridiculous.

    Reply

  25. varanassi says:

    yeah, poa, the palin/couric interview was classic.
    the money quote came when palin was asked by couric repeatedly to cite a single example in 26 years in the senate when mcshame supported regulation, she actually said:
    “i’ll try to find something and bring it to you soon”
    u n b e l i e v a b l e
    today the shark ate the fence he jumped last week.

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, if any of you get a chance to read the transcripts from the Palin/Couric satire, do so. This woman makes Bush look like a mensa.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see Tahoe is struggling to find his way out of whatever GOP intestinal tract he was lost in these last few days. Apparently, though, he’s only extricated 80 percent his body.
    Perhaps his shoulders are stuck.

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    What I don’t get is why Obama didn’t just call McCain’s bluff. Obama is ahead and increasing his lead. Most polls show him up four to eight points in the popular vote and Five Thirty Eight has Obama ahead 306 to 232 in the electoral vote.
    It is usually the person who is behind who wants more debates. McCain is behind ahd he is verging on being way behind. He needs the debates more than Obama does.
    Tactically speaking, if McCain doesn’t want to debate, Obama should take McCain up on his offer and watch McCain fall further and further behind.
    McCain’s strategy just doesn’t make sense. He’s created a scenerio where it’s heads Obama wins and tails McCain loses.
    To my eye it looks like without debates, Obama cruises to victory.

    Reply

  29. arthurdecco says:

    Tahoe Editor said: “again, language like “canceling” and “pulling the plug” and “chickening out” will be a loser, because it’s so hysterical.”
    So far, the only hysteria I’ve been witness to on this thread has come from you, Tahoe Editor. Your strident screeching, whining and lying on this thread has been a sight to behold!
    You’re coming across like a bona fide nutbar – like almost all of your philosophical brethren do under similar circumstances.

    Reply

  30. leo says:

    McCain clearly needs a few days to bone up on economics before the debate! Let’s hope that Phil (Enron) Graham and Carly (wiretaps) Fiorina shape him into a overreactive tangle of off-balance-sheet confusion.
    It will probably be futile trying to keep the debaters focused on foreign policy.

    Reply

  31. WigWag says:

    While I don’t think the debate should be cancelled, the topic should be changed from foreign policy to economic policy. That’s what Americans want to hear about right now. The foreign policy debate can be held in a few weeks.
    But I do think Obama supporters should be careful what they wish for. It’s not a given that Obama will best McCain in a debate.
    1)Obama is a great speaker when looking at a teleprompter (just like Reagan was)but it is generally acknowledged that he is not a great debater.
    2)Everyone expects McCain to lose the debate because he is such a poor speaker. He will beat expectations if he can merely get through the entire hour without having a stroke.
    3)During the “joint appearance” at the Rick Warren event it is generally acknowledged that McCain bested Obama. Of course, the topic and the audience favored McCain and there is always the possiblity that McCain cheated. But still…
    4)Back to expectations, McCain is so weighted down by Bush fatigue and by the fact that everyone knows Republicans are responsible for the current crisis, that expectations for McCain’s performance will be very low. If he distances himself from Bush and actually takes some responsiblity for the current crisis, this could be very well received.
    5)Obama tends to speak in generalities. I don’t think people are looking for generalities, they are looking for specific proposals. If Obama reverts to form, it will hurt him.
    6)The questions from the press will inevitably be dumb. They always are. The press will play “gotcha” with both candidates. This is a real wild card that could help or hurt either candidate.
    7)My guess is that the average Washington Note reader will guess wrong about who won the debates. My guess is that most folks who read this blog thought that Gore beat Bush in at least two of their three debates (maybe Gore lost the “eye rolling debate). I did. And most Washington Note readers probably thought Kerry defeated Bush in all of their debates. I did. But that’s not the way the general public saw it. After the debates, Bush pulled ahead of Gore and he extended his lead over Kerry.
    The candidate who wins the debates is not always the candidate with the greatest command of the facts or the best ideas. The Kennedy-Nixon debates turned on the fact that Nixon sweated more than Kennedy and the fact that he had a five o clock shadow. The Carter-Reagan debate turned on a self effacing joke that Ronald Reagan made about his age. And the last Bush-Gore debate turned on the fact that Gore rolled his eyes while Bush was speaking.
    Given everything that’s happening, Obama should wipe the floor with McCain.
    But I wouldn’t count my chickens just yet.

    Reply

  32. chopper says:

    Cheap political ploy. And a rather cowardly one.
    If I’m reading this right, it really seems as if he wants to postpone this debate into the VP debate time slot, thus postponing the VP debate into some undetermined future. In other words, never. “Scheduling conflicts” will arise, etc. They’ll attempt to use this as an attempt to further shield Palin from legitimate media inquiries, and from being eviscerated by Biden.
    This smacks of desperation. If McCain can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, i.e. debate and still fly back to Washington immediately afterwards if necessary, he fundamentally lacks the capabilities to be president.
    As it is, McCain has shown zero interest in the economy except to dangerously deregulate it over his 20+ years in the Senate. How exactly is he going to contribute in a meaningful manner at this point? He has already admitted he doesn’t understand economics very well.
    This is a cheap, short-sighted, and rather pathetically transparant, political ploy.
    Debate ON! Let us see where these two men intend to lead us in the future. And let McCain explain how he has supported every bit of deregulation in the past, that has created this disaster.

    Reply

  33. Matt says:

    Oh yea Tahoe, 4 House Republicans in support of the Bush-Paulson plan and it’s those dang libruls mussing thangs up.

    Reply

  34. Tahoe Editor says:

    not only “negatively”, but also “undecidedly”. Obama & McCain are the leaders of their respective parties now, and Drudge is reporting that only 4 House Republicans support Paulson’s “trust me” plan. Leadership — not talk — is what’s needed. Which explains why Obama is now suddenly eager to debate.

    Reply

  35. Linda says:

    Neither McCain nor Obama served on the Banking or Finance committees; so there’s no need to either of them to be in DC unless asked to come (Obama has been open to this)or for voting on the final rescue package. Apparently that’s the new terminology because the public has reacted negatively to “bailout.”

    Reply

  36. Tahoe Editor says:

    Keep it up! Nothing like watching liberals chew their own appendages off.

    Reply

  37. koreyel says:

    What do I think?
    It is inexcusable.
    In a single heated word: McChickenshit

    Reply

  38. questions says:

    Oh, Tahoe,
    You said be oh so nice to Palin. Well, the not-so-nice honest look at her paid off. A lot of people have realized she’s not presidential material and it was the blogs’ going full force that worked. Now you once again defend a stunt and argue that it’s Obama’s fault/dangerous ground for Obama….. Not gonna work. Obama refused McCain’s home turf — in “town hall meetings” he can spout off talking points and not get called on the nonsense. And if Obama calls him on the crap, Obama looks bad. That’s what moderators are for. Calling them on the talking points crap. Obama was right to refuse.

    Reply

  39. Matt says:

    I think Obama should agree to play McCain’s parlour game this time, but only on the condition that McCain makes a public statement to the effect that if three debates are not held before the election he will concede. Of course, it would then be possible for McCain to “postpone” the election, but by that time there would probably already be martial law. Seriously, is this some kind of alternate universe? If McCain really thinks that postponing the debates is a good idea, his first course of action should not be to “demand” it through the press. What a nasty old bully! I’m sorry, this is bullshit any way you squeeze it.

    Reply

  40. Liz says:

    Something is fishy about McCain’s abrupt decision to suspend his campaign. I heard today that radio stations are in a frantic hurry to pull all of McCain’s ads at the candidate’s request. Now if McCain is only going to be in Washington a day or two at most – why is it necessary to suspend his campaign ? Suspending a campaign is pretty strong language. Theories I have been batting around in my head:
    1) McCain is just hysterical and flailing about as he has been the past two weeks and the drop in the polls pushed him over the edge
    2) There is some really nasty dirt about to come out on him or his senior campaign staff that will link him to this mess and create a fatal blow to his campaign.
    3) The republicans are throwing a fit and may attempt to block a vote on any bill that is devised and the President called McCain and told him to get his ass back to Washington and fix it.
    4) My paranoid side says this was planned all along (the October surprise) and McCain will drop out of the race with republicans whining that with the crisis there is no time to put forth another candidate and we must postpone the election.
    Just a few theories – we will find out soon enough.

    Reply

  41. Tahoe Editor says:

    If only it hadn’t been McCain seeking debates for months and months, with Barack saying “Thanks, but no thanks”, then you might have a point.

    Reply

  42. Mr.Murder says:

    The idea that cancelling talk can do something about the mortgage collapse is absurd.
    Can’t we just put this on the taxpayer’s credit card?
    Print more money! Problem solved! Just like Reagan!

    Reply

  43. Matt says:

    First Palin, now this. Obviously it’s just another dumb parlour trick. Disgusting and infuriating to say the least…

    Reply

  44. osiris says:

    This is a ‘KEATING FIVE REDUX’ with the same star of the show – albeit a more dilapidated perhaps senile version of the character – but totally the same MO. John McCain “Mr. Deregulator’s MO”.

    Reply

  45. Mr.Murder says:

    Staffers on both campaigns are neck deep in ripping off taxpayers in the issue.
    McCain enough to the point he cannot straight talk through it.
    Obama doesn’t have much difference there, but he’s more a ‘known known’ to Congress, and is expected to give everyone the same slack he’ll promise the CBC on their housing bailout.
    Lucky all of Congress put everything relating to lobby kickbacks, investments, loans, in their DC offices. They can claim separation of powers and Congressional license for speech!
    Let them eat unaccountable cake!

    Reply

  46. osiris says:

    Why would Congress need for John McCain to magically appear when he’s been AWOL from Congress for nearly two years.
    Fact: John McCain missed 230 out of 286 votes. I hardly call that being part of the process.
    Political grandstanding is all that Old Hack John McCain knows. He can’t help it – he’s part of that older generation of political hacks.

    Reply

  47. osiris says:

    Tahoe Editor: I agree with you wholeheartedly. The time is now for a “bipartisan investigation” into the actions of Phil Gramm and John McCain and how they “gamed the system” for this disaster.
    This disaster was man-made and totally preventable. This disaster was enabled by John “Mr. Deregulator” McCain along with his sidekick Phil Gramm.

    Reply

  48. osiris says:

    Fact is: John McCain is petrified of being asked questions about his now AWOL campaign chairman and bosom buddy, Rick Davis who’s been bilking both Freddie and Frannie to the tune of millions – and despite McKeating’s lies to the contrary, there is proof positive now that his last check from Freddie was just last month when the Feds seized it.
    Fact: John McCain couldn’t debate himself out of a paper bag with one way signs on it and he knows this and is decompensating and grasping at straws right now – which is illustrative of how desperate this man is that he will use a national crisis as a political stunt.
    Fact: Evidently, Congress has confirmed that things are going just fine without interjecting presidential politics or presidential “posturing” (McCain’s empty showmanship right now when he and Phil Gramm are precisely the “criminal culprits” who have enacted the bills to remove regulations over these greedy institutions).
    Fact: The american people expect a president to have the ability to multi-task and not run AWOL the first time they must do so. McCain has shown that he’s incapable of doing two things at once by his suspension of his campaign.
    Fact: We’ll soon see what suspending one’s campaign actually means in terms of toxic and adverse reaction. The people are buying none of McCain’s false excuses for dodging out of the debate. Without McCain making news or having his ads aired, the people will soon forget all about him (most would rather do this sooner rather than later anyway).
    So, bye, bye Mr. Irrelevance. You’ve just shot yourself in the foot, shown your age and inability to handle two things at once, and have become almost immediately totally and irrevocably an irrelevant cipher. Bravo! Mr. McKeating! Bravo!

    Reply

  49. Tahoe Editor says:

    40 days out, it’s time for “coming together” and “bipartisanship.” Both candidates needs to demonstrate that authenticity. Screaming “airhead/conehead” is guaranteed to lose the election now.

    Reply

  50. osiris says:

    I see that there’s a “Free Sarah” campaign beginning at the grass roots level. Maybe they can ask the Alaska legislature for their “button supplier” when they all wore “Where’s Sarah?” pins since she was AWOL up there as well.
    I think this woman has a history of going AWOL and it’s now rubbing off on McKeating.
    FREE SARAH! FREE SARAH!

    Reply

  51. osiris says:

    Besides, he’s trying a slick maneuver here – he wants to use the time slot next week which has been allotted to the Veep debate -NOT SO FAST, YOU CHARLATAN! Maybe if it’s so critical for these men to be in Washington to put their two cents in, the debate should be moved to Washington. How long is the debate? An hour or two at most? Is Congress working into the night on this? I hardly think so.
    OR…and here’s an even better way of outing AWOL Sarah Quaylin….why don’t they keep the time slot for Friday and move the Veep debate up???? This would screw them totally for their charade. McCryBaby has already strongarmed the debate committee to change the structure of it because their “faux candidate” doesn’t have enough debate experience….hey…what about ANY experience??
    If they believe that hiding their candidate from the press and the people makes her look any more qualified than we’ve already witnessed, they seriously underestimate the intelligence of the american people. If we don’t know who she is, we’ll reject her on that count alone.
    Besides, can you imagine this airhead/conehead being president right now when she believes good foreign policy is seeing Russia from Alaska?

    Reply

  52. osiris says:

    Frankly, I think that Old Pappy McKeating needs to put his campaign on a “permanent suspension”. His past week of lies have caught up with him. His direct involvement in the last economic crisis (Keating Five Scandal) is making headlines again and being Mr. DeRegulator in Congress means that what he did in Keating is precisely what has tanked our economy now. The man is toxic.
    The people deserve some answers and some answers ASAP from the two men who are trying to convince us they can handle the job.
    What an insult to americans by McCain that he thinks so little of the people’s “right to know”; instead, he’s using this political stunt (not unlike freaking out and calling for the resignation of the Chair of the SEC last week) to make some inroads when the electoral map has shifted “because of McCain and Palin”.
    I think we deserve better than an AWOL Presidential candidate and a totally incompetent, locked-up-from-the-press Veep candidate. I believe his choice of one so obviously unqualified at a time of such crisis is actually “treasonous” to the citizens of this country. How dare him do this to the people?
    He, obviously, has no business being in the race at all.

    Reply

  53. leo says:

    These days I’m thinking McCain is a slimeball, all these slick political tricks are a kind of cowardice.
    I also think that McCain is in an odd way being held hostage by the conservatives (the convention hijacked and Palin installed to satisfy everyone)… and we’re all sitting around watching his tortured attempts to appease the conservative wing of the Republican party.

    Reply

  54. DeeDee says:

    Apparently, this is simply a ploy to postpone the Biden – Palin
    debate. Reschedule the first Presidential debate in its stead, have
    the VP debate moved, or will he try just to cancel that?

    Reply

  55. kspena says:

    My first (second, third…etc.) thought was that nothing that the debate prep team has done to prepare McCain for Friday night is working. McCain has nothing in his head when he gets beyond the well rehearsed sound bites. Nothing sticks… Disaster awaits….

    Reply

  56. Tahoe Editor says:

    This is the mirror image of Obama’s Berlin theater. McCain baited Obama into that show, and now Pelosi & Reid are baiting McCain to “come back to Washington” to deal with this crisis. But the word “crisis” puts the debate back in McCain’s territory, and if he’s in Washington being all bipartisan while Obama is standing at a podium at Ole Miss, saying things like “I told them to call me if I could be helpful, and they didn’t call me,” it benefits McCain.
    McCain is seizing the bipartisan mantle, and Obama has been doubling down on partisanship since his nomination. The headlines alone tell the story:
    Money Markets Seize Up Once More — Dombey & Politi, Financial Times
    McCain Suspends Campaign to Focus on Crisis — Holmes & Meckler, WSJ
    Obama Rejects Call to Delay First Debate — Bumiller & Cooper, NY Times
    We Must Come Together to Resolve This Crisis — Senator John McCain
    Biden Fires Up the Gaffe-o-Matic – Andrew Romano, Newsweek

    Reply

  57. Jae says:

    I must point out that I totally agree with the original poster. There are 433 OTHER congresspeople to handle this crisis and phone lines allow information to be relayed. To delay one of only two or three presidential debates is a Banana Republic move. And, WigWag, well said. I am flabbergasted that Ronald Reagan, of all people, is an icon. I put this entire mess squarely at his feet and make no apologies for doing so. He was a terrible, divisive man and these trying times are his legacy.

    Reply

  58. Alex Becker says:

    While I see the motivation for McCain’s call for the postponement
    of Friday’s debate as purely political, it is a fairly creative idea out
    of Steve Schmidt and Co, especially in light of McCain’s slipping
    polls. Unfortunately, the political motivation behind the plan is
    obvious seeing as very few believe that John McCain’s legislative
    abilities are truly required in this matter. It appears as if the Palin
    pick and the subsequent boost in the polls have given the McCain
    camp confidence in other more radical moves. I would advise
    caution and subtlety for John McCain in the future.

    Reply

  59. Tahoe Editor says:

    Hello Partisan Robots:
    It’s MCCAIN who wanted to have WEEKLY DEBATES about any old thing the American public wanted to discuss.
    It’s OBAMA who has been yammering for months about being “willing” to debate “anywhere, anytime” while avoiding debate at every turn.
    Screaming we must debate on Friday — chalk that up to another hysterical reaction akin to implying the govenment will crumble because McCain selected a governor for his running mate.
    “Leon Panetta, the former DEMOCRATIC White House chief of staff, said this was an economic 9/11, and if this were a terrorist attack we’d be saying suspend the campaign, do everything it takes to get the country prepared to deal with this crisis.” — Chucky T
    “This isn’t about talk, it’s about action.” — Douglas Holtz-Eakin
    A lot will hinge on Bush’s address tonight.

    Reply

  60. Mad Dogs says:

    Kudos to the McSame/MsBull…winkle campaign for their latest in “shiny-thing” gimmickry.
    But of course, this is no substitute for substance!
    How can this McSame/MsBull…winkle campaign subsist on nothing but “shiny-thing” gimmickry you ask?
    When you’ve got nothing of substance that anyone wants, your campaign has become a mockery of late-nite talk shows and you’re falling off the cliff in the opinion polls, well then just trot out some more “shiny-thing” gimmickry.
    As in this long, long line of “shiny-thing” gimmickry:
    – A moose is loose Sarah MsBull…winkle
    – We are all Georgians now.
    – We should have had more regulation.
    – The Surge has been successful.
    – A chicken in every pot.
    – A rabbit out of every hat.
    McSame will play the very same role in leading us out of this financial ditch as he has done on all things economic during his entire career.
    That will be nothing, nada, zilch! McSame, after all, knows nothing about economics. He’s said so himself, repeatedly and endlessly.
    And what pray tell can we expect from McSame/MsBull…winkle campaign going forward?
    Why more “shiny-thing” gimmickry, of course!
    And it might just sell to the very same Repugs folks who invested in Pet Rocks.
    Shorter Obama: “Political Statesmanship.”
    Shorter McSame: “Political Stuntsmanship.”

    Reply

  61. Tahoe Editor says:

    again, language like “canceling” and “pulling the plug” and “chickening out” will be a loser, because it’s so hysterical. It’s like the hysterical overreaction to Palin. McCain’s action IS a ploy, a ploy to get the Obama campaign in political hysterics over a few days’ postponement — after REPEATING the OUTRIGHT LIE ad nauseam for MONTHS that Obama will debate “anywhere, anytime” — instead of focusing on the GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN.
    If the Obama line is that we’ll have a total crisis and government institutional MELTDOWN if we don’t have a debate Friday, it’s a loser.

    Reply

  62. Dan Kervick says:

    Endorsing the sentiments of cmac, I would add that the entire McCain campaign seems to be built up from a cheesy and erratic succession of stunts and photo ops. I can see why more Americans now say they would prefer to watch football with Obama rather than McCain. Obama seems to understand basic winning strategic concepts like the ground game, field position, clock management and time of possession. McCain is all about low percentage, casual fan antics like flea flickers, long balls and gadget plays.
    This was exactly the wrong message for McCain to send at this time, since part of his problem lately is that even Republican stalwarts like George Will are starting to see Obama as the more “presidential” candidate. Once again, Obama looks steady, and McCain is going for the cheap rush.
    McCain no doubt sees himself as a “gambler”. But he is starting to look like a blundering Austin Powers playing Blackjack, and yelling “Hit me!” when he’s holding a 19.
    “I like to live dangerously, baby. Hit me! Hit me!”

    Reply

  63. Tahoe Editor says:

    The first debate should be on the economy, whenever it is. It’s not important if it’s this Friday or next Friday. Government action comes first. Yes, we all think Friday’s debate is the most important thing in the world because Obama has made us wait this long for it to take place. But GLOBAL financial markets aren’t waiting for out domestic political theater — they need something, and soon. Crying not to delay debate now, when he has been avoiding debate as long as possible, will emit the strongest stench of partisanship (a stench that’s been intensifying from the Obama camp ever since Denver).

    Reply

  64. tom.a says:

    This just screams typical McCain, first over-react, second bully. If
    a Presidential candidate can keep his campaign running amidst a
    crisis then I have zero confidence he’ll keep the country running
    during one. Cancelling the debate and then “demanding” Obama
    do the same is just a second grade bullying tactic, it’s not a quality
    we should look for in a leader, let alone the President.

    Reply

  65. questions says:

    SUSA snap polls McCain’s political stunt
    by kos
    Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:28:40 PM PDT
    SurveyUSA. 9/24. Adults. MoE 3.2% (No trend lines)
    The first debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is scheduled to take place in two days. Should the debate be held as scheduled? Should the debate be held, but the format changed to focus on the economy? Or, should the debate be postponed?
    Hold as scheduled 50
    Hold with focus on economy 36
    Postpone 10
    Is the right response to the turmoil on Wall Street to suspend the campaigns for president? To continue the campaigns as though there is no crisis? Or, to re-focus the campaigns with a unique emphasis on the turmoil on Wall Street?
    Suspend 14
    Continue 31
    Refocus the campaign 48
    If Friday’s presidential debate does not take place, would that be good for America? Bad for America? Or would it make no difference?
    Good for America 14
    Bad for America 46
    No difference 35
    Current Kos headline story!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  66. Bob W says:

    This is a campaign ploy. McCain could have easily suggested:
    1. The debate be in Washington DC.
    2. The subject be the financial crisis, not foreign policy.
    Does he think the Senate will be in ession Friday night at 9.
    Ever since he started listening to Karl Rove and his disciples like Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign has been sinking. The real McCain- who frequently asked reporters to talk with him- went from straight talk to no talk. He wiselyt has kep his unvetted VP candidate under wraps, knowing that once she is “freed” he is in more trouble.
    Perhaps while they are not campaigning she can even return to Alaska, and run the army of McCain operatives who have taken over her offices in her absence out.

    Reply

  67. questions says:

    Maybe it works this way — McCain’s poll numbers are tanking, he’s not CONVINCED the debate will help. He goes to Capitol Hill, the Repubs give him something PRESIDENTIAL to do, his poll numbers improve a bit and then he debates. He needs to stop his slide before the debate, otherwise the press will meld his debate performance and his sliding numbers into a single morass of loserdom.

    Reply

  68. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, Tahoe, Obama has a lot more tact and class than most of the rest of us. So he probably won’t say anything at all about chickening out. But of course chickening out is exactly what it looks like to many people, so you can be sure McCain’s evidence of faintheartedness will be raised endlessly by the punditry, no matter what Obama says.
    I hadn’t noticed that there was any great outcry at the Capitol over the fact that John McCain’s absent financial wizardry is needed desperately in Washington, and pronto! Anyway, most executives nowadays have mastered the technological skills of the “movable office”, so there is no reason Mccain can’t do his Senate business from the road. After all, he invented the blackberry.
    In addition to chickening out of the debate, McCain is no doubt looking for a chance to grandstand on national television by tossing out some phony populist barbs at the congressional hearings. His old colleagues are getting hours of free face time, and he wants a piece of that action.
    A more constructive proposal, from the standpoint of the national discussion on the financial crisis, would have been merely to propose changing the planned debate topic from foreign policy to the economy and finance. Or he could go for my above call-in show idea.

    Reply

  69. cmac says:

    I agree, Steve. This is clearly an attempt to make McCain appear presidential while shielding him from any requirement to actually BE presidential. A cynical part of me also suspects this is a little dose of ‘shock doctrine,’ – making a dramatic and unprecedented statement to alarm the public so they will demand that the Bush bailout be enacted. Maybe Bush still has a grip on McCain’s leash.
    It’s laughable to think that Washington is waiting for John ‘I don’t know much about economics’ McCain’s assistance to craft a response to the crisis.

    Reply

  70. Tahoe Editor says:

    You people are nuts. He’s saying lets debate a few days later after we do something infinitely more important first. He’s not saying let’s debate in November.
    If the Obama camp’s response is to talk about polls swings and “chickening out” or “pulling the plug” on Friday’s debate instead of directly and relentlessly addressing the financial meltdown of the global economy, it will lose.
    “You know what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna … what I’ve told, uh, the leadership in Congress, is that, if I can be helpful, then I am prepared to be anywhere, anytime. … If you need us, if I can be helpful, I am prepared to be there at any point.” — Barack Obama
    Praise that. So if he doesn’t go to Congress, does that mean he can’t be helpful? What a leader!
    Sounds a lot like, “If John McCain wants to blah de blah de blah, then I’m willing to have that debate — anywhere, anytime. (Except for any day that’s not the Fourth of July.)”

    Reply

  71. Karl says:

    Agreed Steve. This is a campaign ploy, plain and simple.
    If anything, we should be having more debates. Obama should turn this on it’s head and call for weekly debates like McCain called for earlier.
    This smells of desperation, and I think I smell something about to backfire.

    Reply

  72. Dan Kervick says:

    It sure smells like McCain doesn’t feel prepared and is chickening out of the debate.
    What Obama should counter-propose is that he and McCain get together tomorrow for an impromptu, civilized, televised discussion and call-in show, maybe on Larry King, devoted to the financial crisis.
    Let the country call in their questions and take the measure of the two men. The country may also benefit from the two leaders of their parties developing a working consensus on-air, which can then translate into legislation, without either party having to worry about being shafted as the sole author of the legislation.

    Reply

  73. ballard says:

    Obama should denounce both the suspension of the campaign and the postponement of the debate as desperate attempts to reverse the momentum of the campaign which has clearly swung away from McCain. His announcement came just after the release of new polls from Fox News (45-39 Obama) and the Washington Post (52-43 Obama).
    On the scale of impulsive political stunts out of desperation this one ranks right up with the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate.

    Reply

  74. ... says:

    steve i think you are wrong on obama with regard to the Russia-Georgia conflict.. this is a conflict that has been supported and created by yours truly the usa and their nato expansion.. anyone paying attention can see it just for what it is.. of course the natural response for a knee jerk right wing nut is to say how russia is in the wrong, without considering the usa’s involvement and support for the disintegration of russia….
    the folks in the usa need to get out front on many of the issues that now plague them instead of reacting after the fact…. in order for that to happen you need real leadership and a media that conveys the truth about what is going on, instead of being outlets for rightwing agendas..
    i suppose for thought obama could address this earlier, but the problem has largely to do with the way usa does foreign policy, and not with what russia is doing in georgia or vise versa…

    Reply

  75. Tahoe Editor says:

    Of course using phrases like “pulling the plug” reveal your polemic bent, and the throwaway “I would argue the same thing if Obama had suggested a postponement of the debate” is laughable — you’d be extolling Obama’s ability to prioritize and exhibit “leadership.”
    No one wants to “pull the plug” on debates. For all we know, McCain wants a few days to get some actual government business done, with the first debate some time next week. Big deal.
    “McCain is terrified that he’s going to get asked why Sarah Palin’s position on the bailout differs from his” — uh, Biden’s position on the bailout differs from Obama’s as well.
    Of course there is political calculation in this gambit — but “political calculation” is not always in and of itself a bad thing. This story will come down to who is exhibiting more “leadership.”
    Note to Wig: Obama dropped the New Kindâ„¢ of Politics in Denver, and he’s been full-tilt boogie on the class warfare, paying-taxes-is-patriotic mission ever since.

    Reply

  76. hey norm says:

    and another thing…how many votes has mccain missed while campaigning already? wall street is closed on friday night. that leaves him all day saturday and sunday to politicize the so-called crisis.

    Reply

  77. hey norm says:

    a naked attempt to take ownership of an issue that obama already owns. but now just you watch them turn obamas refusal to cancel into a shiny object/wedge issue for the far right noise machine. what’s next? postponing the election?

    Reply

  78. Ben Rosengart says:

    No delay, please. I don’t even think they should change the topic
    of the first debate to the economy. Let’s hear about foreign
    policy, as scheduled.
    Comment engine is f*cking with me again. Sigh. This time I’ve
    “submitted too many comments in a short period,” which is not
    true.

    Reply

  79. WigWag says:

    Note to Barack Obama:
    If the first debate does occur on schedule, it’s time to cut the “new kind of politics” rhetoric. It’s time to return to good old fashioned class warfare.
    One more thing, Senator Obama, you know how Republicans took the excesses of the 1960s and used them as an excuse to turn “liberalism” into a four letter word? It’s now time to take the excesses of this decade and use them to turn “Reaganism” into a four letter word.
    Think you can handle it?

    Reply

  80. tulsatime says:

    One more game to play while he tries to get a clue as to what is going on. Since the economy does not respond to threats of force, and the old ‘deregulate’ snake oil is at the root of the present crisis, McCain needs time for the backoffice to come up with a plan and some sound bites. At the very least he needs to be able to fake a leadership position and then criticize whatever the dems do.

    Reply

  81. Greg P says:

    I suspect part of it is that — while the debate is supposed to be about foreign policy — McCain is terrified that he’s going to get asked why Sarah Palin’s position on the bailout differs from his:
    COURIC: If this doesn’t pass, do you think there’s a risk of another Great Depression?
    PALIN: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this as it’s been proposed has to pass or we’re gonna find ourselves in another Great Depression. But there has got to be action taken, bipartisan effort — Congress not pointing fingers at this point at — at one another but — finding the solution to this — taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.
    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/palin_passage_of_a_bailout_pac.php
    It’s got to be terribly embarrassing to have a VP nominee on the ticket who is so unqualified that she can’t even stay on the same page as the boss on the #1 issue…

    Reply

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