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September 24, 2008
McCain Suspends Campaign to deal with Economic Crisis (Updated)
In remarks made in New York City today, John McCain announced that he would suspend his campaign on Thursday in order to go back to Washington and work in a bi-partisan manner to solve the economic crisis.
It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration's proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.
This is an eye opener. First of all, the Dems don't dare call it a gimmick. McCain has effectively silenced the Democrats about the crisis for a few days.Update: Obama says "Debate is on"
Secondly, this is bold, decisive leadership - and McCain thought of it first so he gets the cookie. Obama is eating his dust right now and is no doubt kicking himself he didn't think of it first.
Third, this kind of surprise move will make the voters sit up and take notice. Some who may have been moving away from McCain will give him a second look. After all, we now have proof that in this race, there is one guy who talks about bi-partisanship and another who actually does something about it.
The last 8-10 days have not been good ones for McCain. He has slipped dramatically as his fortunes have matched those of the economic slide into crisis. With this decisive move, he gains back some of the momentum he lost and puts Obama on the defensive - exactly where he was when McCain was making so much headway after the convention.
For those who cynically see this as nothing but politics, I would disagree and say its about 75% politics and 25% vintage McCain. And while we won't know for a few days, it could very well be that John McCain has once again - for the 3rd or 4th time - redefined the campaign and given himself a fighting chance to win it.
Not sure how this is going to play but Obama has refused the offer to suspend his campaign:
In other words, Obama refuses to cede the issue to McCain although let's see how much pressure builds for him to call off the debate over the next 24 hours.
Allah actually points out why this move is bad for McCain:
He’s trying to siphon off some of Obama’s strength with voters on the economy, obviously, but er … at the expense of a debate on foreign policy that would have played to his own strength? What does McCain gain by steering the campaign towards an issue for which the public blames his party?
Good point. And if people think about it, they may give McCain the credit for being selfless that he is seeking.
Update from Thomas Lifson:
Several poeple have written in suggesting that McCain offer Palin as a substitute. I think this would be a mistake. Obama would dismiss it as a gimmick and imply McCain is not brave enough to face him. Palin may not be the person to face Obama right now anyway. Foreign policy is not her long suit, though she is studying rapidly. Her instincts on the economy are sound, but shje is no expert in the markets either. In 4 years she would be able to handle such a debate fine, but right now?