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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Re: McCain Wants Friday Debate Postponed

posted by on September 24 at 12:15 PM

More details: McCain is apparently suspending his campaign, heading back to Washington D.C. to be available to hammer out a bailout plan, and calling on Obama to do the same.

The statement, via the siren-flashing Drudge:

America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.

Last Friday, I laid out my proposal and I have since discussed my priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward. Senator Obama has expressed his priorities and concerns.This morning, I met with a group of economic advisers to talk about the proposal on the table and the steps that we should take going forward.I have also spoken with members of Congress to hear their perspective.

It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’ proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved.I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.

Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.

It’s easy to see what McCain is trying to do here: Take the initiative, appear presidential, one-up Obama’s rhetoric of “coming together to solve big problems,” and put Obama in a box of either being for the debate or against quick action to steady the economy.

Obama needs to get out of this trap, and quick. He needs to agree or, as I suggested at first blush, strongly disagree—and he needs to do it soon, before a conventional wisdom develops around McCain’s move. The longer Obama waits, the more likely the conventional wisdom about McCain’s move is going to become: Bold, bi-partisan, politically shrewd, game-changing, initiative-grabbing, presidential.

RSS icon Comments


Chicken shit.

Posted by LDP in Cincinnati | September 24, 2008 12:16 PM

Translatioj : if we suspend this campaign thingie now, while I still appear remotely close to having a shot, as opposed to a few weeks now, post-debates, when myself and Caribou Barbie are found floating face down in the Potomac, it would really be best for us - uh, I mean everybody - involved.

Posted by How obvious | September 24, 2008 12:16 PM

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

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

Posted by OPEN REAL DEBATES | September 24, 2008 12:16 PM

It's always games with these people. Just like all their other games this year, it will all blow up in their faces. John McCain is not going to be elected President by using this as an excuse to completely stop running for President just as his numbers tank.

Posted by whatevernevermind | September 24, 2008 12:17 PM

Bullshit cop out. Bullshit cop out. Bullshit cop out. Bullshit cop out.

Posted by Hernandez | September 24, 2008 12:18 PM

No, it's crafty as hell! The Palin was starting to fail, and McCain was flailing like crazy on the bailout. This flips the ball to Obama and co-opts the preferred O-lingo. No matter what Obama does, McCain comes out looking better than he has earned to at this point in the campaign.

Posted by mike | September 24, 2008 12:19 PM


"The Palin was" should have read "The Palin gambit was"

Posted by mike | September 24, 2008 12:21 PM

Someone with the phone numbers of the local/national networks should call and ask if McCain has withdrawn his campaign ads for the next few days. I'm willing to bet that, even tho' his 'campaign' may be suspended - that his attacks on air won't. He'll still be spending wads of cash left and right.

Posted by ReverendZ | September 24, 2008 12:22 PM

Losers know they can't debate a third grader so they found a way out.
So fucking pathetic.

Posted by K X One | September 24, 2008 12:23 PM

@ 7 (re 6) - Actually, I think the sentence "The Palin was starting to fail" works just dandy.

Posted by Wowza | September 24, 2008 12:24 PM

@6 Crafty - and also not his idea. Rather than issue a joint statement, McCain moved first to appear Presidential...

"The Obama campaign said Obama had called McCain around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible. McCain called back six hours later and agreed to the idea of the statement, the Obama campaign said. McCain's statement was issued to the media a few minutes later."

Posted by bohica | September 24, 2008 12:26 PM

this is good gamesmanship. good play from a position of weakness. Obamas a better candidate, but I'm beginning (well, at the mid point) of worrying about his campaign management.

Posted by randy beaver | September 24, 2008 12:26 PM

This is such crap. "Listen to Bush, trust the administration to give us a plan, don't question it, do it now now NOW, just like after September 11th."

Because that worked out SO WELL for the USA PATRIOT Act.

Posted by Greg | September 24, 2008 12:27 PM

Obama should agree to postpone the foreign policy debate set for Friday.

And debate the economy on Friday instead. ;)

Posted by NapoleonXIV | September 24, 2008 12:27 PM

This is fantastic news. This is what a rout looks like. They're panicked and trying to limit the damage that McCain does to himself with every passing day. They're best chance is to hope the voters forget entirely who McCain is and which party he's from.

Look for a major shift in the polls in the coming weeks. The Republican Party could well fall into third-tier status earlier than we thought.

Posted by elenchos | September 24, 2008 12:28 PM

If McCain suspends his campaign can we just declare Obama the winner by default? Can McCain also use this time of a "suspended" campaign to find a new running mate and give Sarah Palin a few more days to step down? One last question. If Obama does not suspend his campaign what are the chances it will hurt or strengthen his campaign? Novice politicos wanna know at least I do.

Posted by One heart beat away | September 24, 2008 12:30 PM

why don't you suggest postponing the ELECTION, too? what, are you SCARED? it takes a brave man to embrace fascism in public.

Posted by max solomon | September 24, 2008 12:31 PM

Agreed, Max! One people, one nation, one leader!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | September 24, 2008 12:37 PM

Fascinating, and very Rove-ian. Who can do a better job play-acting as president and run out the clock until election day? Extends lame-duckery to well before the traditional starting point. Of course, Bush was a lame fuck (err, duck) on Day One, so I guess that's the real precedent.

Posted by rob | September 24, 2008 12:37 PM

& BTW, the 1st debate was on FOREIGN POLICY. not domestic economics.

our imperialist debacles haven't changed while we were collapsing, have they?

Posted by max solomon | September 24, 2008 12:38 PM

That statement he issued is actually pretty good for what they're trying to accomplish with this move (Country First and all). Eli's right, Obama will be between a rock and a hard place if he doesn't respond very quickly...

elenchos is right in that the McCain campaign is down and trying to fight back with a risky gambit. But, the thing is, sometimes Hail Marys work. I was shocked that the Palin thing seemed to work -- though this seems equally as stupid (well, maybe not quite that bad), it could work...

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 24, 2008 12:39 PM

Bitter partisans all. Step back. think. I know it's tough to do it but try.

a. This IS the biggest vote in about the last few decades.

b. They ARE senators.

c. They SHOULD BE leading on this.

So I'm not so sure this will be viewed as dumb by most Americans. What's wrong with them doing their jobs for a few days and putting back a debate?

Um, nothing, really.

Obama needs to take leadership on the issue by saying the package should include equity. The American middle class is'nt going to get suckered again. We're going to get something -- or else the package is no go.

That's how he can actually be presidential and not just look presidential and guess what else.

If McCain doesn't show up for the debate......

it's not going to happen.

That'll make Obama look dumb unless he has a forceful response right now.

And mr. e. keep dreaming about the third tier status of the GOP. I wish your dreams would come true. But you're among the folks who said Obama would be competitive in red, red states and the old map wouldn't apply and he would be Vastly More Electable and all that was wrong.

In fact, it's taking a huge economic meltdown to keep him competitive which really sucks. He's only three poitns up in the Gallup Daily tracking poll. It's the same map. Michigan just slipped out of his column on real clear no toss up view. Yes, this meltdown could bring down the GOP and in fact it appears this is the only thing that's done so in the last week or so.....virtually forcing Obama to finally start focusing on the economy.

But saying Obama should say "no, John, I'm going to sit in Florida for the next three days preparing for a debate at which you will not show up, while you go back to DC and start making news from DC about the bailout, making you look like a leader in tough times, and leaving me looking like an idiot" is pretty fucking stupid advice.

Now is the time for Obama to lead. Debate prep isn't leading.

Unity y'all--

Posted by PC | September 24, 2008 12:42 PM


Posted by John Lure | September 24, 2008 12:42 PM

Falling behind in the polls? Pick a completely out-of-nowhere VP candidate. A Hail Mary, hoping to grab the spotlight and reinvigorate a flagging campaign.

Falling behind in the polls again? Suspend the campaign and bail out of the debate because of the financial "emergency". Another Hail Mary, hoping to grab the spotlight and reinvigorate a flagging campaign.

I used to think that if we got stuck with another Republican president, McCain wouldn't be as bad as some of the alternatives. But every time I see him pull a stunt like this, it scares me. Is this how he'd make decisions in the White House? Fuck!

Posted by Reverse Polarity | September 24, 2008 12:42 PM


For Palin to have worked, wouldn't McCain have to be in the lead? It failed, and she's flailing. This is the same: I'm shocked that some of you consider this BRILLIANT!!! OMG! BRILLIANT MOVE! Please: It makes him look like a scared old man.

Posted by hal | September 24, 2008 12:43 PM

I happen to agree with McCain 100% here. A debate is petty, petty shit compared to what congress has before them right now, and the next president, whoever he may be, should absolutely be in Washington right now. Sure, McCain spun it very well, but if Obama had issued the exact same statement, you'd all be falling all over yourselves with how brilliant and presidential he is. I believe/hope that Obama feels the same way, McCain just beat him to the PR.

Posted by Christy O | September 24, 2008 12:47 PM

Obama should make a big stink about McCain racing back to Washington to help pack a bunch of golden parachutes for his CEO buddies, rather than face "answering to the America people" or some such speak.

Posted by Dougsf | September 24, 2008 12:47 PM

@25. The Palin gambit worked in that she was viewed by most people to have galvanized/excited the party base and to have actually helped McCain. Maybe not helped him to the lead, long-term, but she did help. Instead of being a spectacular failure, which is what I thought for sure would happen. Shows what I know.

Also, @22. There is no reason why Obama and McCain should take the lead on this. That's why we have a President, a Treasury Secretary, a Senate Banking Committee (which neither of them are on), etc. Dodd chairs that committee and he is the Senator who should (and did) "take the lead". McCain and Obama need to be available for discussion and votes, but based on their roles as Senators, that's about it.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 24, 2008 12:50 PM

So, the Republican candidate suspends his campaign due the magnitude of this "national crisis". Is the election not as important? All the more reason to have both candidates on a stage before America, to explain how they will manage this mess as president. One of them will take office in January* and we need to know of their plans...
*(Putting on tin hat) Though, I see McCain's maneuvers as a precursor to the October Surprise, being that our country (and the world!) will be in such crisis that Cheney/Bush will declare that we MUST suspend the election. Martial law to follow. These sick fucks have such a boner for power that I'm convinced that they won't pass it off so easily.

Posted by Madashell | September 24, 2008 12:51 PM

@29 - Putting on a tin hat? What, are you performing in the "Wizard of Oz"? It's tin foil hat. Gawd, what a douche...

Posted by Madashell | September 24, 2008 12:59 PM

It's a Trap!

Posted by Admiral Akbar | September 24, 2008 1:00 PM


According to ABC News:

"The campaign is also suspending its advertising, pending an agreement with Obama."

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | September 24, 2008 1:10 PM


According to ABC News:

"The campaign is also suspending its advertising, pending an agreement with Obama."

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | September 24, 2008 1:14 PM

PC @22;

The point is that both candidates should be able to do both things. The president really needs to be able to respond to multiple crisises at a time. When they are in the Oval Office for real, they can't just put Foreign Policy on hold while they work on the economy - for one thing, our debt is global, so anything we do economically will have world-wide repercusions.

Just because Obama wants to go forward to the debate doesn't mean he is ignoring the finacial crisis [he'd better NOT miss this vote]. It isn't Either/ Or, it's Both/ And.

Posted by Schweighsr | September 24, 2008 1:21 PM

uh, in theory the actual President is required to handle many different situations at once...McCain is basically admitting he can't do two things at the same time, (to be honest, he's not doing very well doing one thing at a time).

Posted by michael strangeways | September 24, 2008 1:26 PM

Well, considering the response from the Obama camp, I'd say McPalin's desperation ploy has completely backfired - once again.

Posted by COMTE | September 24, 2008 1:42 PM


"Aiming to prove how serious he is about addressing the financial crisis, John McCain has instructed his staff to take all his campaign commercials off the air, a spokesman tells Politico.

"As John McCain said, now is the time to put partisanship aside and come together to do the work that the American people expect," said Tucker Bounds.

McCain aides are now in the process of contacting TV station across the country to get their ads taken down, according to Bounds.

Asked how long they would go dark, Bounds only said: "We're taking our guidance from Sen. McCain on that.""

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | September 24, 2008 1:52 PM

Either Comrade McCain is wussing out or he just had a stroke.

Or, more likely, BOTH.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 24, 2008 11:26 PM

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