Thursday, September 25, 2008

Under suspension

Anyone who's been following political news recently will know exactly what the McCain campaign announced yesterday. For those that don't know, here's a quick recap.

In light of the economic crisis, he's suspending his campaign. That's right, folks, we won't see McCain commercials, interviews, debates, or fundraisers until we've got this whole bail-out thing figured out. Or until his staff change their minds, and go ahead with business as usual. But hey, it's the thought that counts.

On one level, suspending the campaign (if only they'd actually done what they claimed) would be something that could be applauded. Instead of partisan bickering, this could have been a chance for McCain and Obama to put aside their frantic rush towards the White House and work together, with the rest of Congress, to pass some sort of a plan. Then, once everything was taken care of, they could have returned to the campaign trail, with both being able to tout that they reached "across the aisle" to stave off a total recession.

Well, aside from the fact that Obama didn't follow McCain's lead, and aside from the fact that McCain is continuing campaigning (just more quietly), the timing of the "suspension" is a little off. After all, it comes right on the heels of polls that show McCain losing the lead he'd gained with Sarah Palin (who is totally not a witch, we've come to learn). It's also right before a debate that even his own aides felt he stood a good chance of losing. Oh yeah, and the VP debates scheduled for next week might need to get pushed back, because the McCain campaign thinks that Palin may be "unprepared" to debate Biden. You know, because he has things like experience and qualifications and an actual platform.

Sadly, in today's overcharged political world, even a suspended campaign will yield political results. Will this be a chance for the GOP to pounce on Obama's continued time on the trail as a sign that he's just power hungry? Will the Dems point to McCain suspending his campaign as a sign of weakness in the face of adversity? Will it give all of us a chance to figure out just why we've been putting up with this for the last couple of years?

We'll find out some of those answers tomorrow night at the debate. Provided, of course, that everyone shows up. Maybe David Letterman should be brought in to moderate.

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