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John McCain is cool and so am I

I spent the better part of yesterday evening and last night posting on numerous blogs and discussion boards about what a shrewd tactical move I thought it was for John McCain to suspend his campaign to head back to Washington and deal with this bailout bill head on.

I spent so much time and energy commenting on other people's sites that I forgot I had a blog of my own. That's too bad, because if I'd posted all that stuff here (and some of my lines were really, really good) then I would have looked much more prescient and wise and intelligent than I already am!

Why? Because there's some evidence that the polls are already starting to bear me out. Gallup's track shows that McCain has completely closed the gap. It's all tied up now, even though Obama has led by at least three points for more than a week -- and only one third of the data in the mix was taken after McCain's dramatic announcement. Moreover Zogby (yeah, yeah, I know) has McCain up by 2 today, after being down three in the most recent survey.

I recognized this as a winning move as soon as I saw it. It reinforces his whole "Country First" narrative ("I would rather lose and election than blah blah blah...") while at the same time putting Obama in a no-win situation. Either he takes McCain's cue and hurries back to Washington himself (in which case McCain comes across as the leader and Obama a follower) or Obama refuses, and comes across as a glib freshman senator unwilling to set aside temporarily his quest for the White House during a time of national crisis.

Was it a campaign stunt? Of course it was! (Although as Frank points out, one involving motorcycles would have been cooler.) But I also think it was a very effective stunt, and one that also happens to be sound policy.

The reality is that the Fed, the Treasury and Congress are on the verge of putting taxpayers on the hook for the better part of a trillion dollars, in what is arguably one of the most important pieces of financial legislation in a generation. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to expect both senators to get their asses back to Washington and do the job that the voters elected them and the taxpayers pay them to do -- to debate the merits of this bill and then stand up to go on record with a "yea" or a "nay."

I think that Obama really believed he and McCain were going to get a pass on this one -- that because they were out on the campaign/debate trail, they were going to be able to whistle past the graveyard with a "present" vote. Well it doesn't look that way anymore.

And stunt or no, McCain can pull it off better than most. He has a lengthy track record of subordinating GOP interests for the sake of shepherding through some supposedly important piece of legislation or another, and everyone knows it. The mantle he assumed yesterday looked familiar and natural on him, not affected.

I also predicted (and continue to maintain) that McCain will indeed attend the debate. The suggestion that McCain is afraid to debate Obama one-on-one is ludicrous. The whole debate issue was designed to get Obama to go on record with his priorities. McCain will show up and he will debate, and if he has to do it wearing yesterday's clothes because he just rushed in from DC? Well, that's okay too.

The funny thing is, McCain's been pulling this kind of rope-a-dope with the Dems for as far back as I can remember. You'd think they'd learn.


IMan, I saw that as a risky strategy at first, but tonight's scuttling of the Paulson deal makes it look brilliant.

Seems as though McCain was right all along that "There is no deal in place."

McCain comes away from this looking sage, Obama hurt himself a little with his "If they need me, they can call me. They know I'm always avaibale to talk."

But that bit of arrogance didn't hurt nearly as much as ads like THIS do; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHvJPGnkQxE

Rightly or wrongly, the Obama camp is getting the blame for things like that.

Things John McCain has done since "suspending" his campaign.

He gave an interview with Katie Couric.

He kept his scheduled morning meeting with Lady Lynn de Rothschild, a Clinton backer who recently came out in support of him.

He gave a speech to the Clinton Global initiative.

He gave interviews to all three networks.

But he can't make it to a 90 minute debate.


And sorry but it's rude and narcissistic to threaten to cancel the debate at this late notice.

So he shows up. By threatening to not show up, he is just putting everybody in limbo.

He wants to do his job?

Then do it.

But all this nonsense is just nonsense.

And I'm sorry.. people like my Mother who has been considering McCain because of his experience is questioning McCain because of actions like this.

You seem to think McCain is one step ahead, while I see a man unraveling. I don't think this stunt will play well, just like I see broad support for his Palin pick to continuing to erode.

They won't work out because they were both cynical ploys that are at odds with his better self who wasn't calculated and cynical.

This was a man who at times has put his country first. His current actions, however, turn his "country first" into a hollow slogan that he repeats every ten seconds.

I don't see how his presence, especially the way he did it, is helping. If it isn't helping, then that isn't effective leadership.

"Was it a campaign stunt? Of course it was!M|"

If you still support McCain after this, I am really sorry for you :-)

McCain is behaving like a demented old man who is losing control. His erratic and bizarre behavior shows that he is totally unfit to be president. Read the details of the Gallup poll and you will realize how wrong your statement about McCain "closing the gap" is (and after you realize how wrong you are, please feel free to admit your mistake).

It is hard to believe that anyone would keep taking McCain seriously. He is becoming a comical figure. And he proved once more that he could care less about this country. He is an unpatriotic comedian. Something like Rush Limbaugh or worse.

Well, Obama *had* to be called in by Mr Unpopular himself to do the job Illinois hired him to do. What does that say about Obama? Esp the "if you need me, call me" nonsense?

McCain has not been in the Senate since April. Both, though, have been consulting behind the scenes and both ended up arriving Thursday afternoon.

It was Obama who first reached out to McCain and it took McCain some time to get back to Obama. McCain then made the decision to do the big showboat press conference, act like his presence was required to fix things, when what he did yesterday was attend the same meeting that Obama did.

The only thing that McCain did that Obama didn't do was showboat (as well as threaten to cancel the debate, while keeping other events in his campaign calendar.)

By the way, when asked about the Paulsen plan, McCain replied that he hadn't read it yet.

It is three pages long.

"By the way, when asked about the Paulsen plan, McCain replied that he hadn't read it yet.

"It is three pages long." (PE)

Funny story....at the debate, during the first exchange, Obama said he "hadn't looked at it" either.

Of course, McCain didn't engage in anti-capitalist lawsuits like Obama helping Miner Barnhill & Galland sue Citibank on behalf of Calvin Roberson for NOT offering ENOUGH subprime mortgages to minorities.

The idea of seeking to offer mortgages to people whose incomes didn't qualify them for is not merely socialistic, it's malfeasance on the part of those who did that!

I believe there are but two ways to define "FREEDOM." One is, as LICENSE - "Everyone has the right to do whatever they want, so long as they don't deliberately harm others."

The second way and the way AMERICA has always defined freedom is as LIBERTY - "The complete self-responsibility that comes with self-ownership."

That's what the Constitution was predicated on, LIBERTY, not mere license. That's probably why, to a man, America's Founders made clear that government was never to seek to benefit one group of people (ie. "the poor," "the children" "the elderly") at the expense of any others.

THAT'S Liberty!

License would be allowing "a democratic majority to seek to redress those inequities via redistributive tax policy or other redistributive actions."

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