Or in McCain-speak, trying to look like a shining knight on a white horse. Or possibly, trying to bulk up my poll numbers by appearing to care about the economy, even though I didn't much care for the regulation that would have prevented this from happening in the first place. Or even, I know I'm down in the polls and don't want to have my ass handed to me in the debate.
I'm shocked that the man who says he has the experience to be president can't handle dealing with fellow Congresspeople on the Wall Street bailout and doing a debate. In this age of technology, he has access to Blackberrys, laptop computers, cell phones (or his wife)! Is he unable to keep in touch with Congress while in Mississippi for a few hours? It appears so. It appears that without White Knight McCain, this bailout just isn't going to get done. But now it looks like it will get done, and what's that you say, John? You STILL aren't going to compete in the debate? Nope, St. John wants to make damn sure the bailout plan is solid, or whatever. I think this from the AP article on the bailout plan agreement says it well:
[McCain] again portrayed his announced halt to campaign events, fundraising and advertising as an example of putting the country ahead of politics. But in doing so he also hoped to get political credit for a decisive step on a national crisis as polls show him trailing Obama on the economy and slipping in the presidential race.
Putting country ahead of politics? Yeah, sure, that's what he was doing. Never mind that this statement shows just how much McCain WASN'T putting country ahead of politics. This was a stunt. A ploy. A campaign tactic. He didn't suspend his campaign -- suspending his campaign was PART of his campaigning. Otherwise, why would he have had a conversation with Sen. Barack Obama about issuing a joint statement, then appeared on television himself? McCain said later that this wasn't the time for statements, but then he went on television and uh, made a statement. No, he just wanted all the glory for himself. Wanted those voters who are responsible for his plunging poll numbers to say, "That John, what a guy!"
What a guy. He's such a guy he can't even handle doing a debate at the same time as dealing with pending legislation. Or maybe that wasn't it? Maybe this is the plan:
"McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.
In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday."
Rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, huh? You know, when Gov. Sarah Palin was first introduced as McCain's running mate and people wondered how she'd do in a debate against Sen. Joe Biden, I jokingly thought, "Oh she'll pretend she's sick, or make up some other excuse why she can't do the debate." I didn't think that would seriously happen. Maybe they'll move the vice presidential debate to another date, but suddenly, there's no time. Palin will be unavailable or otherwise occupied with campaign business or the plague. After her interview with Katie Couric, that might be exactly what the McCain campaign is hoping to do.
Never mind that a bailout deal has been reached, however tenative it may be. It's solid enough that both parties are ready to present the proposal to President Bush for approval. Not good enough for McCain, though. No, the White Knight won't rest until the ink is dry, and he has something he can take credit for. Suspending his campaign to put country first! (Um, are you getting all this? Do you have my good side? Is my hair straight?)
Yes, McCain was in such a hurry to get back to Washington to get things done, he canceled an appearance on David Letterman last night.
Understandable. Oh, except he didn't quite rush off to Washington. He spoke with Katie Couric first (see above at 6:40). But he had a good reason:
"The clincher for me is the fact that McCain cancelled his Letterman appearance at the last second and instead sat down for an impromptu interview with, of all people, Katie Couric. The hope was to bump the Palin interview even on the CBS Evening News, which otherwise would have hyped and teased the Palin interview all afternoon and used it to lead the broadcast. Instead, CBS devoted most of its coverage to McCain and played segments of the Palin interview almost as an afterthought. Mission accomplished."
Sneaky, sneaky. Suspending the campaign to put country first. Sure thing, John, and I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you. Punk.