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The Right Soapbox for McCain

What is John McCain going to do in Washington this week? The Senate banking committee, led by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), has the lead in fashioning legislation to enable a bailout of the financial industry.

McCain is not a member of that committee.

He serves on the armed services committee, the commerce committee and committee on Indian affairs. Those committees do not have oversight of the financial markets nor responsibility for putting together a rescue package.

Banking committee members -- Republicans and Democrats -- don't need to check with the GOP presidential nominee before they act. Nor should they. After all, McCain has already admitted that he needs to get up to speed on the economy. He'll have plenty of time to express himself once a bill is reported out of committee.

The administration is engaged in discussions with the appropriate legislative leaders of both parties and on both sides of the Capitol. That's where the deliberations belong.

The American people, not his fellow senators, need to hear from John McCain about what thinks about this financial crisis and about our national security. And he should share his views in a face-to-face exchange with his Democratic opponent. The presidential debate scheduled for Friday night in Mississippi gives McCain that opportunity. That's where he belongs.

By Colbert King  | September 24, 2008; 6:17 PM ET
Categories:  King  | Tags:  Colbert King  
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Next: A Week of Gaffes for a VP Nominee

Comments

Amen!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

With the news that Ole Miss has spent over $5 million to prepare for Friday's debate, Senator McCain's withdrawal guarantees that all of Mississippi's electoral votes will go to Senator Obama.

A presidency showing today's example by Senator McCain of this kind of shoot-from-hip regret later politics is exactly what Americans do not need.

Stand up and show up at the debate, Senator McCain.

Posted by: Nancy in CT | September 24, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

THIS MAY BE A TRAP or FOR ONCE MY REPUBLICAN INTERNSHIP WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND IMPRESSIONABLE CAN BE OF USE INSTAD OF AN EMBARRASSMENT

You know, it might be that McCain's drama on this could be a trap.

1) Now people think he in unprepared, because he cancelled the debate

2) Should they actually debate this dramatically lowers his expectations and raises Obama's

3) tomorrow or Friday McCain agrees to the debate

4) In the debate he gives vicious one liners and quips and appeals to patriotism and remembering his time as a POW. And demands Obama tell the truth.

5) His supporters cheer out of turn every time McCain speaks.

6) Even though Obama wins on substance, McCain appears to win on emotional appeal.

7) McCain goes up on the polls.

And if you think this is too complex for the McCain campaign staff, you are mistaken. You CANNOT under estimate them.

XXXXOOOO

Kurt

Posted by: Kurt | September 24, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

BAM!

Posted by: mobedda | September 24, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I have just read about 300 comments in different media webpages, and 99% of them dont agree with Mccain choice of cancelling the debate, I think this decision will cost him the presidency !! thank you !! go Obama...you got it all cleared out!!

Posted by: independent reader | September 24, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

At a time when a semblance of normalcy in the national dialogue would be welcome, the McCain campaign chooses guerilla warfare.
Whatever he says, he has created even more anxiety at a time when we need less.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

McCain is like a primary school kid trying to escape debate in a difficult time. Cry baby

Posted by: Dev | September 24, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling since hearing this news. This is grandstanding as only McCain can do. I want to see him next to Obama and debate these issues NOW! So you postpone this debate - then there's another crisis and you postpone that one? He could keep this up until election day. We have so little time left - we need, no, we deserve to have this debate!

Posted by: June | September 24, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

What does Sen. McCain think he'd do as president when he's got more than one crisis on his hands - ask the parties in one of them to hold on for a while because he can only deal with one at a time?

This debate has been scheduled for months. If "the-economy-is-fundamentally-sound" McCain really thought this was such a crisis, why didn't he drop everything last week and go back to DC?

This smacks of desperation to me...

Posted by: blondie3 | September 24, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Man, oh man -- as a Democrat, I just have to dance with glee over the major gaffs made by Palin and McCain this week. First, the Palin handlers (can we really call them anything else since she's STILL not capable of doing a press conference yet?)... they try to strong-arm the media at the UN and get forced scrambling into a "Whoops, sorry! That was a miscommunication on our part" position.

Then, the most unforeseeable craziness occurs -- McCain gets asked by Obama to put out a joint statement regarding the financial crisis and he turns it into a permanent joke about his candidacy.

I LOVE how this article clarifies, McCain is not a member of the Senate Banking Committee.

I am giggling over how McCain thinks he has the power to actually suspend his campaign. Does he really think that if he stops talking, the volunteers who back him will really stop campaigning for him?

I am stunned that his campaign manager thinks it is a good idea for him to "postpone" the initial debate scheduled for Friday. Dumb play, there.

And I am again terrified by this man's approach to government. His stance appears to be, "If Congress doesn't solve this problem on Thursday, I'm not going to debate on Friday." One day, Senator? Are you feeble-minded? What are you thinking?? How do you think your very limited and admittedly weak understanding of the economy is going to help facilitate an answer by End of Business tomorrow?!?!?!?

Why oh why isn't Tim Russert here to call this for what it is: the cheapest shot ever made by a presidential candidate to win an election at any and all costs.

Posted by: pandorales | September 24, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

This whole discussion is pointless. McCain supporters will declare that he is being a true patriot and accuse Obama of putting his campaign over the needs of the country. These talking points will be all over Fox news.

People who like Obama will say this in McCain playing political games and trying to hide from the debate. These talking points will be over the WaPo and NY Times.

In the end this discussion will only confirm for most people what they already believe about the candidates. However, we will now spend the week talking about the debates rather than talking about the issues. Once again, a brilliant McCain campaign gimmick.

Posted by: Chad | September 24, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Only an idiot would call McCain brilliant. The brilliant person will put the people first, not politics and that is what McCain is doing,, McCain first, McPain second (she thinks she belongs in the White House)not, and Pal-lies would like to be home with her husband's ex partner.

Posted by: mzbond | September 24, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

McCain says that what he wants to do is postpone this debate and, instead, have it replace the Palin/Biden debate. In other words, he wants to CANCEL THE PALIN/BIDEN DEBATE!

It's so lame, I can't even believe that he's suggesting all of this. Of all forty days leading up to the election, the date of the Palin/Biden debate is the one that he wants. And that's not even mentioning how lame it is that he's backing out of this debate!

(Also, he looks really pale and awful. I'm not sure he's up to the debate, health-wise.)

Posted by: GeorgeSimian | September 24, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

McCain's "suspension" of his campaign is phony and an attempted PR stunt. As Barney Frank said today, Congressional leaders have made significant progress in coming closer to a deal with Secretary Paulson and the Bush administration on the bailout plan. He said there should be an agreement and a law passed within "a few days."

McCain wants people, or at least those who are guillible and can be duped, into thinking his grand entry into the negotiations will result in a deal, saving the financial system. The Republican hopes for keeping the white house are based on the premise enough Americans are ignorant enough to believe their propaganda.

Posted by: Independent | September 24, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

What kind of mickey mouse economy do you guys run over there in america?
If you want to provide liquidity to banks you put up interest rates thus promoting
investment inflows into america, savings inflows, and pension funds to convert from shares
to cash especially when the share market is in decline.
You are running a bubble gum economy; blow it up, burst it, blow it up, burst it.
You have to regulate growth, resrict it , manipulate it so it doesn't get out of control. Greed is not good.
You don't inject billions of tax dollars to prop it up, thats just stupid.
Companies that are run by gooses ought to fall over, no matter how big they are.
I mean so what if freddie and fanny fall over? You just sell their assets, prime
and sub prime to the highest bidders. Investors will get burned for sure, and house prices will take a hit, but you defineately don't keep blowing the bubble up bigger, and what are you doing spending 800 billion that could go to hospitals or whatever, thats money taxpayers will no longer have as consumer spending power, your only robbing peter to pay paul.
When you invest you take a RISK, did you hear me, a risk, all investment is a risk,
you can and sometime will lose your money.
But putting interest rates up, thats stupid talk? Interest rates are a tool of control, if you want liquidity in banks you have to provide incentive to save in them, and then when the banks are awash with money what do they do with it.... oh let me guess, they lend
to whoever will make it work, thus power plants, toll roads, factories, shopping plazas and housing estates.
Knock that stupid 800 billion bail out on the head, sell up iag, freddie, fannie and the rest and get on with life.
Actually you should probably base you banking system on the australian system,
i think, hey its only an opinion.
doug, in brisbane australia.

Posted by: doug | September 24, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Gee if McCain doesn't show, Senator Obama can't ask him how he feels about continuing the Bush tax cuts now that the government has to shell out $700 billion to bail out Wall Street. And you think there's a budget deficit now?

Posted by: StevefromSacto | September 24, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Desperate, panic, irrational. This guy is looking less and less like Presidential material everyday. It's 3 AM and the phone rings....Time Out!! Let's convene a committee!

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 24, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

For the past 14 years or so, I have watched and wondered just how morally bankrupt the RNC and its minions really are, to what dishonorable depths they would sink to retain power.

Every time they appear to (finally) hit bottom, yet another spate of disgusting, hypocritical behavior erupts.

Bye-bye, Palin/McCain. Hello, sunshine !

Posted by: phoenixresearch | September 24, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"What kind of mickey mouse economy do you guys run over there in america?"

Ah, Doug from Brisbane, WE don't run it, the global financial community does, in a complex web that your patronizing "Econ for Dummies" cannot begin to explain.

Save the arrogance for something you're good at, like making REAL Foster's Lager, treating your women like dirt, and putting out good indie films.

An economic powerhouse and braintrust Australia is NOT. Mind your manners.

Posted by: phoenixresearch | September 24, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

So, John McCain can only handle one crisis at time. America needs a President who can handle several important matters – even when they are not presented sequentially. (If you read this McCain: that means one after the other.)

Posted by: JustaBriefThought | September 24, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, right. So McCain, who knows squat about economy is going to go back to Washington to help resolve the crisis? Looks like after hanging out too much with his VP, he is starting to Palinize.

Posted by: Casual Observer | September 24, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, I shouldn't be surprised, I guess, at the content of Colbert King's writing or the content of the messages submitted by his blind followers. When a commentator never eschews a party line, it is no wonder that the vast majority of his readers support his views lock-step.

Perhaps some independent thinking would help. (I doubt it, given the tone of these comments, but call me an optimist.)

First, since the debate -- by agreement -- is to focus on foreign affairs, just how are the candidates supposed to tell us what they "think[] about this financial crisis"?

Question: "What would your policy be with regard to North Korea's decision to rebuild its nuclear reactors?

Answer: I'd like to answer that by focusing on the need for financial oversight of our markets.

It makes no sense to suggest that a debate on foreign policy is more important than working on a solution to the possible collapse of our financial system.

Second, although the committee members iron out the details, the entire House and Senate get to vote on the bill. Is Mr. King seriously arguing that only committee members need to be concerned with the content of the bill, and so long as they are satisfied that the full House and Senate should vote unanimously to pass the bill. That's simply not how the system works, and he knows it. Since we have only 100 Senators, I don't think it's asking too much for them to come back and discuss and debate the merits of a such an important bill.

The bottom line is that Senator Obama once again has put himself, and winning the election, above the country's interest. What, pray tell, is he doing to educate himself on the bill? Is he communicating with his fellow Senators about what sections he supports and what sections he does not support? Does he think that making phone calls from the road is as effective in communicating his views as in person meetings?

Finally, I'm sure that I could retrieve a column or two from Mr. King that criticizes President Bush for not traveling to New Orleans immediately after Katrina. But by Mr. King's logic today, there was certainly no reason why President Bush should have ever gone there. As long as he had a phone, he could monitor the situation. If Mr. King thinks that Senator Obama is right for not returning to the Senate to work on this emergency relief bill, then he must surely think that an in person appearance by President Bush for one of the Nation's biggest disasters wasn't necessary, either.

But of course he doesn't. Because bottom line for Mr. King is that Democrats are good and make reasoned decisions for the benefit of the country, while Republicans are bad and make decisions in their own self-interest (or the interest of their business friends), right?

Posted by: Unbelievably Predictable | September 24, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey Liberal Media,
Do ya think maybe all this sound and fury might have anything to do with the Rick Davis story---you know, that campaign manager of McCain's who's been taking $15,000 a month from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac up till last month---yes, and for doing what? Nobody seems to know. Fannie & Freddie, those folks now being bailed out. This knocks it off the front page, doesn't it?

Posted by: Rick D. | September 24, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Campaigning was not suspended during the Civil War for Pete's sake!

Posted by: Abe Lincoln | September 24, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

So we attack McCain for going to work and doing his job? He is a Senator, and if this bail out is needed it is the most important vote of this year. This is not a stunt, this is getting work done.

Posted by: Joe | September 24, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

a pathetic attempt to stall serious debate and a flimsy attempt to appear presidential. it would maybe pass if he were even on a committee that mattered but this is really pathetic.
debate!

Posted by: mb | September 24, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

McCutandRun needs a time out.

Posted by: MC | September 24, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the Blackberry McCain invented allow him to follow what's going on without being physically located in DC?

But all snarking aside, it is expected that our leaders keep in close touch at all times with Congress in crisis situations, and physcial proximity is not a requirement for doing this. Obama and McCain are not on the banking committee, and have been busy making their opinions known on the bailout and what it should/should not include - and it appears that their respective parties in the Senate are following their leads. I've seen this all week from Obama, as he describes his conditions for the bailout - and he seems to be speaking with one voice with the Senate leaders. I am not as sure that McCain is doing the same thing, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for the sake of argument. In short, there is no need for the candidates to show up and start grandstanding and making a circus out of the bailout proposal. I do expect them to show up on the floor and vote however - but I'm sure they can do that and then fly off somewhere else.

Seriously, McCain seems to have an 'old school' approach to business here - as in nothing gets done if I am not physically in the room. But that is not the way American business and government is conducted anymore, with the exception of Senate hearings (which were yesterday, before the banking committee).

Posted by: techie | September 24, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Predictable: Given 48 hours' notice, I bet Jim Lehrer could prepare for a debate on the economy and the financial system. Let the debate go on!

When and where exactly would your discussion among 100 senators on the bailout take place? If each of them gets an hour of floor time, that would take us from now through around midnight Sunday -- if they go nonstop around the clock. And at the end of it, the Senate wouldn't be any closer to having a bill. There's a reason things get done in committee.

I'm willing to bet that both Obama and McCain don't have any trouble getting their calls taken by their party leaders in Congress these days. The notion that they need to be there is absurd. In fact, their presence would only politicize and sensationalize the whole bailout process further -- imagine the campaign press camping out in the Capitol for days.

Nice touch criticizing a hypothetical King column. In fact, Bush did travel to Mississippi and New Orleans soon after Katrina, and hijacked for his photo op firefighters who had better things to do.

Posted by: Mr. Unpredictable | September 24, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Did McCain just blink?

Posted by: Dr. My Eyes | September 24, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Anybody notice that every single article in PostPartisan is a slam on McCain and or Palin?

Posted by: rmorrow | September 24, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

When you've lost Ruth Marcus, you've lost the pundit class.

Posted by: Serious Washington Insider | September 24, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Unpredictable -

First off, ask yourself this question -- if Senator Obama had made the offer to suspend his campaign and travel back to DC first, would you (and others in this forum) have the same vehement reaction as you have to Senator McCain's offer? ? I sincerely doubt it.

Now to your post:

Your point would have much more merit had Senator Obama suggested changing the topic of the debate. He didn't.

Although I agree with you that standing on the floor and giving speeches won't solve anything or help pass any legislation, unfortunately for you (but fortunately for the country), that's not what Senator McCain is proposing to do. He's proposing to come back and hold private meetings to reach consensus (across party lines) to get a deal done. That's how it is supposed to work. And, as he mentioned today, that is precisely how it did work immediately after 9/11.

To anyone who thinks that people are as persuasive on e-mail or blackberry as in person in a face-to-face conversation, I can only surmise that you don't conduct much business at any level. If people were as effective using those methods as in-person meetings, very few people would actually travel for business meetings. The fact is that people meet face-to-face, as Senator McCain is suggesting, because it is so much more effective than typing at each other, talking to each other over the phone, or via a video conference. (Indeed, the democratic controlled Senate Banking Committee seems to agree as it asked Paulson and Bernacke to testify in person, and not respond via text messaging.)

Posted by: Unbelievably Predictable | September 24, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
What "Suspending My Campaign" Actually Means

From the Chicago Tribune:

John McCain's sudden "suspension'' of his campaign and his call for a postponement of the premier campaign debate Friday night has sparked a round of criticism from people asking why the presidential candidate cannot manage a financial crisis and a debate at the same time.

"Among them: "Late Night's'' David Letterman, who told his own audience in taping at CBS today that he was hoping to see the Republican nominee for president but McCain called him to say that he had to rush back to Washington to deal with the nation's financial crisis. Then, as Letterman told it, he got word that in fact McCain was down the hall sitting for an interview with his colleague at CBS, Evening News anchor Katie Couric, which aired this evening."

And the Top 10 most cynical methods for avoiding a drop in the polls tonight are...

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-suspending-my-campaign-actually.html

Posted by: Susan D'Addario | September 24, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Hi Unbeleivable predictable - yes how predictable yuou guys defending the indefensible - your endf comment just signifies why its a diversion by MC CAIN BEING THERE....

"the democratic controlled Senate Banking Committee seems to agree as it asked Paulson and Bernacke to testify in person, and not respond via text messaging"...

Dont see Mc Cain or Palin in that list of people who need to work on this - Rocky and Bullwinkle are looking for any excuse to divert the focus...Yes its the economy stupid - and Mc Cain already has indicated is ability here with his assessment last week it was solid - now he is in panic mode...

In fact I think the true republicans out there should vote this lot out hard - clean out the party - liek Wall st needs to cleanout the idiots and do a bhit of culling - let Obama in for 4-5 yuears and a poison chalice - and get back in in 2012 - Fresh and reinvigorated - get in this election through all these stunts to get the idiot vote and "three times lucky" with this clown and associates you will get belted in 2012 and not be seen again for 20 years plus...maybe rather than being blinkered and blind and spinning everything unbeleivable predictably clean the party out and get back to the great party the Republicans once were...

Posted by: col in paradise | September 24, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

McBush is running out of options. All his gimmicks so far have not resonnated with the voters. So with his tricksters who are hand-me-downs from George W. Bush and Karl Rove School of fraudulent and bitter politics, he concocted this "I-am-the-leader-country-first-patriotic" gimmick that is so disingenious that any sane person aside from McCain can see through.

Just last week, he professed that the fundamentals of our economy were strong. On the day that majority of the country disagreed with him (as evidenced by the poll numbers on the economy), he felt that it was imperative for him to be at the table to reach an agreement on an issue where he is not needed and will not debate the same issues that the American people are most concerned about. Is this senility or what?

Posted by: midas20874 | September 24, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank you! This is McCain trying to steal the spotlight after reports today that Obama is 9 points ahead and most people trust Obama with economic issues over McCain. A president will be elected in 5 weeks. Both candidates need to face the people so we know where they stand. McCain looks like a coward. He is going to regret this. Obama cannot back down now. If he has to do this without McCain then so be it.

Posted by: commentator3 | September 24, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I think McCain believes that he could use this in a campaign ad:

John McCain hurried back to Washington to work on the economic crisis while Obama continued to play politics....

What a little jerk!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

We don't have to speculate about "what if" Obama had pulled a McCain, because he was trying to do the opposite -- find areas of agreement that the two candidates could jointly set out to help guide the debate in Congress and keep it from getting overwhelmed by politics.

Instead McCain went unilateral and has brought the circus to town.

In terms of persuasiveness, Obama's economic advisers (Larry Summers and Jason Furman) are the lead advisers for congressional Dems on the bailout.
So Obama isn't having trouble getting his message across.

The bottom line is that McCain's crisis is a contrivance. Paulson dumped an abominable proposal on Congress; Congress is getting it straightened out, without the candidates' presence.

Posted by: Mr. Unpredictable | September 24, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

What kind of circus is this? How embarrassing!It looks like this election is going to be a basic IQ test for Americans. I can't believe that McPalin still have a 42% support!! I am sure U.S.A elections are now a big joke all over the world. Are the republicans (and some democrats) THAT stupid? McBush will have you on the fourth world list in no time!

For those who still support Mcain; remember that you elected Bush for 8 years!! You have some historical responsibility on all this mess so you better THINK HARD before voting for Mcain! That is, of course, if your IQ allows you to grasp the meaning of the word CHANGE ..

Wake up Americans ! Stop watching too much American Idol and Fox news! Is time for a REAL change!

Posted by: Outraged. | September 24, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The Letterman footage slamming mcCain that was alluded to several posts back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjkCrfylq-E

Posted by: gwt0199 | September 24, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I have one question. Why in his right mind would McCain suspend ads and his campaign for this? Why? Campaign ads work and he's going to suspend his while Obama doesn't. In my mind, he is putting his campaign at major risk for doing this? If he is only concerned about winning, this is not a smart move. My guess is that, like it or not, McCain thinks this is the right thing to do. Yes, he's not ont he banking committee, but he is the new leader of the GOP since Bush is such a lame duck. So, his role in Washington will be ensuring GOP votes for the revised bailout. He believes that this thing needs to pass and it can't be passed along party lines. I truly think he's doing this because he thinks he needs to. Look, Bernake and Paulson have been yelling for a week that this needs to be passed. They have been yelling about its urgency. It makes total sense that the two presidential candidates should be involved, especially since one of them is going to have to deal with the mess in January! Wouldn't you want to have input? I can't believe Obama doesn't want to be more involved, especially if he's so confident of winning. He's going to inheret a huge mess.

I truly think McCain is doing what he thinks is right and could care less about the consequences. He's not running for president to "define" his career like Obama. This has never been about him and if you think otherwise, then you probably also think he chose to stay another 3 years as a POW and be tortured because he wanted to look good for the american public.

Posted by: anonymous | September 24, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

McCain is returning to Washington because Harry Reid--in public, on camera---made a dramatic statement that nothing could get done unless McCain led his party to support the bailout legislation.

So McCain called his bluff.

If you're upset, Mr. King, you probably need to speak to the very mouthy, very petulant Mr. Harry Reid.

Luckily, Bush has invited BOTH candidates to return and be part of the solution, and Obama has agreed to be there.

You DO realize, Mr. King, that Barak Obama has already told his party's leaders (Pelosi, Reid) that any amendment allowing mortgage adjustments for homeowners close to foreclosure should NOT be included in the bill, don't you?

Essentially, Mr. Obama has agreed with Mr. Paulson, and has undercut both Mr. Dodd and Mr. Frank.

But the proposed Democratic bailout has accomodated Mr. Obama, and any concern for the "little people" holding those mortgages has been REMOVED from the Democratic proposal.

For that, Mr. King, you can thank Barak Obama.

With all due respect, sir.

Posted by: Mary | September 24, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your article. As soon as I heard of McCain's decision to "return to Washington", I thought, "What is he going to do in Washington that he can't do from the road?" And you have answered that question for me, absolutely nothing. Just as I thought. No I know I'm not being cynical, this is a stunt. Every day he makes me glad that I'm not voting for him.

Looks like more "Election First" decision making from the McCain camp. Leadership...hmm. Not so much.

Posted by: Clrennie | September 24, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

If the senators need to be in DC, they could debate in DC or from DC so this isn't about not being able to travel to Mississippi. It is a gimmick to try to look presidential. This morning the McCain campaign was screaming that the Washington Post poll was an outlier but then the FOXNews poll showed the same huge gap. Oh, politics isn't work? Time to "rise above politics" with a political gimmick. I would think McCain would be eager to debate--he is a much better debater than Obama because he is good with simplistic zingers while Obama sounds like a Con Law professor. I guess he needs a way to cancel the VP debate and this would be the perfect gimmick!

Posted by: Judy | September 24, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Mary, what's your evidence that the mortgage adjustments are out?

As of this afternoon, the working draft of the bailout plan "includes a strong provision for congressional oversight, limits executive pay, and would allow bankruptcy judges to adjust mortgages in order to help homeowners, among other items."

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/

Posted by: Quite Contrary | September 24, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain has a 26-year record of disdain for oversight and regulation of financial institutions. He calls off the presidential debate as to offer his personal oversight to the bailout
of said institutions that have crashed due to lack of political oversight and regulation from hacks like himself!

Does anyone see the sick irony here?
Shakespeare couldn’t write this stuff!

Mccain are you strong enough, are you mentally fit and is your health capable to endure the demand for the job?
Evidentially not!

Posted by: rube | September 24, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Both campaigns were told last week that Friday's debate would include questions on the economy. (This according to Ambinder at the Atlantic earlier this evening.)

Let the debate go on!

Posted by: Mr. Unpredictable | September 25, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-suspending-my-campaign-actually.html

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
What "Suspending My Campaign" Actually Means

From the Chicago Tribune:

John McCain's sudden "suspension'' of his campaign and his call for a postponement of the premier campaign debate Friday night has sparked a round of criticism from people asking why the presidential candidate cannot manage a financial crisis and a debate at the same time.

"Among them: "Late Night's'' David Letterman, who told his own audience in taping at CBS today that he was hoping to see the Republican nominee for president but McCain called him to say that he had to rush back to Washington to deal with the nation's financial crisis. Then, as Letterman told it, he got word that in fact McCain was down the hall sitting for an interview with his colleague at CBS, Evening News anchor Katie Couric, which aired this evening."

And the Top 10 most cynical methods for avoiding a drop in the polls tonight are...

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-suspending-my-campaign-actually.html

Posted by: Marie Stewart | September 25, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, John. You still have to go to school Friday night.
Nice try, though.

Posted by: rmpatera | September 25, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Famous Quotes:

"When's the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the senate before he started running?"
--Bill Clinton

"When that phone rings, whether it's 3pm or 3am, in the white house, there is no time for speeches or on-the-job training."
--Hillary Clinton

"I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is, the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
--Joe Biden

Asked in a second interview days later...
"I stand by my statement."
--Joe Biden

"Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience. I will bring a lifetime of experience. And senator Obama will bring a speech that he gave in 2002."
--Hillary Clinton

"I am a believer in knowing what you're doing when you apply for a job. And I think that if I were to seriously consider running on the national ticket I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the senate. Now there are some people that might be comfortable doing that, but I'm not one of them."
--Barack Obama

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pPNJdOdklk

Posted by: Michelle Obama | September 25, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign is all about gimmicks.

He runs as the guy putting America first and on experience. Then he picks a running mate who lacks national experience but who appeals to the religious right and disgruntled Hillary supporters.

He touts his 90 plus % voting record in support of Bush to get the Republican nomination and then runs on the platform of "change" (since he forfeited "experience" by picking Palin)

He tells Obama that they will prepare a joint statement on the Wall Street crisis and then makes an announcement by himself (so much for the integrity he claims to have)

Now, despite his self-professed lack of knowledge of and interest in economic issues, he's going to suspend his campaign and the debate so he can rush to Washington to fix the crisis, thus showing America what a decisive leader he is.

Of course, the thinking person wonders what McCain's input would be given his lack of expertise in the area. The thinking person may note McCain's rash behavior like claiming he would fire the SEC head (who is not a political appointee) or claiming the American economy is fundamentally sound and wonder whether McCain's input might actually do more harm than good.

And hopefully, the thinking person may also see that in tough times such as these with a fragile economy, two wars, and energy crisis and global warming, what this country needs is a thinking, reflective, reasoned decision maker to work through these tough problems and not a shoot from the hip maverick who changes positions on key issues as is politically expedient to do so.

Obama is such a reasoned and intelligent thinker. McCain has shown he is not.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

MCCAIN/PALIN

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Did I say "reasoned and intelligent thinker"? I meant, READER, not "thinker". Without a teleprompter he's a blank slate... um, uh, um, uh... somebody pull his puppet strings and get that guy off the stage already. He's already admitted he's not ready to be president, by his on words.

MCCAIN/PALIN

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm Barry Obama, and I approve this message.

KFC FOR EVERYBODY!!!

Posted by: BarryO | September 25, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Look, I've said a few things that weren't exactly "historically accurate." But who hasn't? Besides... are you SURE that FDR wasn't president at the time? Maybe the books have it wrong. Regardless, I think the real issue here that many Americans are facing is having to look at my shiny bald head every time I turn around. Many a voter has complained that the sun gets directed right into their eyes when I turn and I apologize for that. I'm trying to use rogaine, but it's just not doing the trick for me.

MCCAIN/PALIN

Posted by: Joey Biden | September 25, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Who cares what the candidates are going to SAY? How about what they are going to DO. Each candidate has clearly and consistantly expressed their own opinion about which is more important. I know which one I'm voting for.

Posted by: Wisconsin | September 25, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Blames Democrats for Financial Crisis, Bill Clinton Agrees
NewsBusters.org ^ | September 25, 2008 -

Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2008
Going very much against the media meme that the current financial crisis is all George W. Bush and the Republicans' fault, Bill Clinton on Thursday told ABC's Chris Cuomo that Democrats for years have been "resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" , relevant section at 2:45).

Whether he knew it or not, Clinton was going against virtually all press outlets that have been pointing fingers at Republicans since this crisis began, and likely much to the dismay of such folk actually agreed with a Fox News segment aired on Tuesday's "Special Report"

Posted by: jake | September 25, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Mr. King. After the unprecedented "delay" in opening the Republican National Convention on the supposition that it would be unseemly with a tropical storm threatening the Gulf Coast, Sen. McCain is offering the country's financial woes as reason to postpone a debate the people have been waiting for since spring of this year.

I don't fault the desire of anyone to want to offer help in fashioning a good measure to deal with the country's economic pitfalls at this time. But the lame pleading of a President who has cheered this trainwreck-in-the-making for 8 years, and the sudden urgency of a presidential candidate who's stood on the sidelines instead of putting forward appropriate regulatory legislation do not make a crisis. It is true the problem is deep. It is also true that the country has been in a recession for nearly two full years, in a decline for more than 7 years. It now seems that the problem is being seriously addressed. Senators and representatives must give the matter their best non-partisan attention. But let's have a debate.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | September 25, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

And just how do you know what someone will do without listening to what he/she says?

Posted by: Jazzman7 | September 25, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The mainstream media ruthlessly and endlessly repeats any McCain gaffes, while ignoring Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird little Internet sites to see all the stammering and stuttering that Mr. Obama needs before getting out a sentence fragment or two. But all you see on the networks is an eventual one or two clear sentences from Mr. Obama. Nor do you see Mr. Obama's ludicrous gaffe that Iran is a tiny country and no threat to us. Nor his 57 American states gaffe. Nor his forgetting, if he ever knew, that Russia has a veto in the United Nations. Nor his whining and puerile "come on" when he is being challenged. This is the kind of editing one would expect from Goebbels' disciples, not Cronkite's.

Posted by: Michelle Obama | September 25, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/mccain-and-bushs-kabuki-theatre-mccain.html

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Credit Where Credit Isn't Due: McCain and Bush's Kabuki Theatre

Now we know why McCain hired the Bush contingent.

It emerged in the White House briefing today that McCain called Bush and asked him to initiate a meeting today at 4 pm at the White House, putatively for him to "deal with" the crisis.

That is, McCain asked Bush to help him create an avoidant trifecta: To try ti\o lend some credence to McCain's desperate assertion that a suspension of his campaign is necessary, in effect avoiding a debate in which he would face critical questions about his stance on the economy; attempting to co opt the financial crisis thereby trying to put an end to his plummeting in the polls created by his flailing positions on the economy--perhaps best reflected by his statement days ago that the "fundamentals of the economy are strong"; and, while avoiding his own debate, also buying more time for Sarah Palin after her embarrassing photo op at the UN yesterday, by moving her debate forward as well.

Here's how it happened, according to Q and A at the WHB:

McCain emailed Bush asking for the 4 P.M. meeting. Now, one reasonably might ask, why is today such a necessity for McCain, if his interest is solely the national good?

Because it is before the debate. McCain hopes to stage a meeting at the White House, thereby, with Bush's cooperation, lending plausibility to his claim to need to suspend his campaign. Then, if Republicans, in their own electoral interest, can be persuaded to come to agreement, before the debate, he would claim--in an act of utter stage management--to have "resolved" the crisis. Thereby hoping to take the heat off on his past careening stances and sliding polls and staunch the bleeding on the polls--before the debate.

This is Kabuki Theatre masquerading as substance--no different than what we saw at the U.N. yesterday.

It is utterly stage managed, utterly cynical, and utterly unrelated to the substantive deliberation necessary to actually resolve these matters on the merits and for our nation's future, rather than for short-term and desperate political advantage.

These occurrences are equally important for what they indicate about McCain's governing style as they are for their impact upon democratic process: impulsive acts that rely on drama and theatrical posture rather than substantive reasoning and long-term deliberation; a strong willingness to sacrifice substantive reasoning, deliberative process, and even prior structures and agreements to immediate political need; an attempt to reach outcomes through last minute stage management rather than substantive argument.

These should create deep concern for anyone who wishes for a change in governmental process from the past eight years.

We have an economy, rather than a campaign, to rescue. Putting nation before politics means putting all attempts to resolve it before political attempts to co opt it--and to move towards one's commitments, rather than towards a more immediate and short-term salvation.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/mccain-and-bushs-kabuki-theatre-mccain.html

Posted by: Emily | September 25, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Now if only NObama was in office instead of Clinton when I was there! That would have been sweet!

Posted by: Monica Lewinsky | September 25, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

mr. king is one man i read. one comment about mccain's committees. the indian affairs committee is notorious for overlooking (maybe ignoring is the more accurate word) the budget of america's native peoples. just more example of his inconsistent job as an united states senator. with respect, horse

Posted by: horse | September 25, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

McCains Campaign saw the serious slump happening tothe polls, and needed a distraction to pull headlines, they are going by way of the old school- Any news , positive or negative, is good news.
It has worked , all to often for them, but i think people are sick and tired of the games.Sure, we know They know how to play em, and yes they flexed their game to pump up his polls.
But as every election cycle has dictaded, time to get to reality, and McCain is still playing games.It caught Kerry unawares, and he reacted way too late to stem off the swiftboating, but this is so apparently a desparate ploy, no one is fooled.
I really hope McCain skips, and maybe Barr or Nader would step in .Some real opposition for Obama, not the feckless old hype monger McCain has become

Posted by: mullett | September 25, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the CBS news interview with Sarah Palin...

Katies asks: What "lesson" have you learned from the war in Iraq?

The problem with this question is it is a Catch22. First, and foremost, she cannot have learned any "lesson" from the war, because she was not involved in ANY WAY with national or world politics until recently. So how can she learn any "lessons" from it? But if she doesn't answer then the media perceives her to be an idiot, and if she DOES provide an answer then they confirm that she is the "same" as Bush.

Bottom line: She cannot win with the media, and certainly not with anyone that claims to be a liberal democrat. They have already made up their minds and nothing will sway them.

It's ok though that Obama is being investigated for questionable spending of $100,000 of taxpayer money. But do you see anyone asking him about that on the nightly news? Has anyone asked Joe Biden what lesson he learned from the Clinton Administration? Of course not. These two men are put up on a trophy case and presented to the world to be free of sin and the savior of not only this country but of the world. That's going to be a lot to live up to. But something tells me that they will be riding the wave of "our ideas didn't work, but it's because of the Bush administration" for the next four years and still come out smelling like roses.

As sickened as I am with the media and their relentless bashing of McCain/Palin, I am still voting for them, and I hope a lot of other people will too.

Posted by: tmacioszek | September 26, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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