Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Campaigns in Suspended Animation

Like, 5 minutes ago, John McCain announced that he is suspending his campaign to return to Washington to work on the economic crisis. He asked that the Friday debates be called off and that Obama suspend his campaign as well. UPDATES BELOW

Update 3

UPDATE 2 "Harry Reid counters McCain's blatant stunt brilliantly"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a statement that would be unlikely to go out without the Obama campaign's approval, dismisses McCain's suspension:

This is a critical time for our country. While I appreciate that both candidates have signaled their willingness to help, Congress and the Administration have a process in place to reach a solution to this unprecedented financial crisis.

I understand that the candidates are putting together a joint statement at Senator Obama's suggestion. But it would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation's economy. If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.

If there were ever a time for both candidates to hold a debate before the American people about this serious challenge, it is now.

As of the moment, only CNN seems to be running the story, with Google News not picking it up at all.

UPDATE: McCain's statement read:
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.

There is no doubt that the the crisis facing Wall Street, and by extension the world financial system is fairly grave, but is this a politically motivated move?

As Obama seems to be regaining momentum, is McCain trying to stall it. Is McCain afraid of debating Obama live on TV?

What is going on here?


Zuz said...

Stunt stunt stunt, this is a stunt... McCain is not suspending his campaign, he is simply moving his events to DC. You think he is going to get any less coverage the next few days while he is in DC then he would have gotten in Podunkville, Iowa?

If the candidates really wanted to use their leverage to benefit Americans suffering from the financial crisis, they would simply work together to forge a compromise, without all the hoopla.

You don't get credit for de-politicizing the process just because you say you are. You get credit when you actually do it, and that goes for both candidates.

Anonymous said...

Dammit Zuz, that's what I came here to say. I mean, seconded....

Zuz said...

Sing it sister!... er, I mean Harry Reid!

Anonymous said...

There's no way this goes well for Senator McCain, and his campaign knows that. If Senator Obama joins him, it will look like McCain strong armed him into it. If Senator Obama does not join him, Senator McCain will lose some ground. Senator McCain has repeatedly said that he would rather win a war than an election. It's not a political move; we're seeing it right now. He would rather help blunt the financial crises than win an election. But whether people believe that or not, neither goes towards his favor on November 4.