John McCain hasn’t done anything to put his country first since he took off his Navy uniform so I was examining the reasoning behind his latest actions to suspend his campaign and bail out of the first Presidential debate.
First, I viewed this as merely a political stunt to portray McCain as a leader, even though it was Obama who first called him about doing a joint statement on the crisis. That was part of McCain’s angle, but there was more to it. The idea of canceling the debate is central to what McCain was trying to do. There is no reason to cancel the debate. McCain and Obama would be in the way on Capital Hill and the congresspeople and senators involved in negotiating any bailout settlement don’t want them there. As of shortly after midnight on Thursday morning, Rep. Barney Frank announced that there was a deal in place that would create new provisions that would garner enough votes to send to the President to sign so there is now no need for McCain or Obama to go to Washington DC. Rep. Frank and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have both said that they believe McCain’s actions are all about saving his failing campaign.
Even if they were able to be effective in the negotiations or rounding up votes, both Obama and McCain can do plenty of work into the evening on Thursday and then Friday during the day and then fly to Mississippi in plenty of time for the 9pm debate so none of McCain’s suggestions about why that debate should not happen make sense. Somehow, strategically, the stoppage of this debate is key to McCain’s plans. Then, I saw this article in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/24/mccain-camp-wants-to-post_n_129079.html reporting that CNN says the McCain campaign “wants to postpone the first VP debate”.
That last sentence is not completely accurate. It turns out that what the McCain campaign is really proposing is that the postponed first Presidential debate instead happen in the only VP debate’s slot. So, we would have three Presidential debates as originally planned except for the timing of the first, and then we would have to reschedule the Vice Presidential debate.
There it is.
Of course, the Vice Presidential debate would never be rescheduled. Obama, Biden, and everyone else except McCain & Palin would do their best to try to reschedule, but the McCain/Palin campaign would find reasons why each date and each venue were not workable. There isn’t much time left until election day, and McCain is hoping to run out the clock and prevent the catastrophe (for McCain) that would be a Biden-Palin debate.
McCain may very well lose the election anyway, but if Biden takes apart Palin in the Vice Presidential debate as is almost certain to happen, McCain will lose by a landslide. People might counter this suggestion by saying the VP pick doesn’t affect people’s vote much. To those people I would say that this is a special circumstance because of how bad Palin’s performance is likely to be. Even more than it is already, McCain’s pick of Palin will be seen as a cynical choice to try win the election at the cost of having a competent running mate and at the cost of potentially putting a grossly incompetent person in the White House if something should happen to McCain. No one would have any confidence in McCain’s judgment after the Vice Presidential debate.
Everything McCain has done for the last 30 years has been an attempt to win the White House. The McCain-Feingold bill was an attempt to repair his reputation for a White Houser run after the Keating-Five scandal. In 2000 he went back on the idea that the Confederate Flag was a racist emblem in order to win the south. Why would an Arizona Senator worry about this if not to win the south in a White House run? After Bush’s election, he became Bush’s poodle to try to gain enough GOP support for his run in 2008. He went back on an immigration reform bill that would include a path to citizenship in order to appease his base so he would get the GOP nomination. He selected Palin to try to get elected, eschewing more competent choices. Everything is an angle with McCain, it’s never about what is right and what is good for the country. McCain has sold out so often and for so long I wonder if he even knows what is right and good anymore.