John McCain Seeks to Postpone 1st Debate

POLS UPDATE: The Colorado director of the McCain/Palin campaign, Tom Kise, just screwed up and sent the internal list of talking points about McCain’s suspension of the campaign to his press list (follows). Note to Tom: don’t bother using the “attempt recall” function in your email program next time, it just makes things worse.

In addition, the speedy distribution of these talking points raises the question of whether or not McCain’s appeals to Country First™ today were in good faith.

Along with many other red flags for the cynical, as the AP updates:

Asked whether the debate could go forward if McCain doesn’t show, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs replied, “My sense is there’s going to be a stage, a moderator, an audience and at least one presidential candidate.”

Their competing positions came after the two senators spoke privately, each trying to portray himself as the bipartisan leader in a time of crisis.

McCain beat Obama to the punch with the first public statement. He said he had spoken to President Bush and asked him to convene a leadership meeting in Washington that would include him and Obama.

Even as McCain said he was putting the good of the country ahead of politics, his surprise announcement was clearly political. It was an attempt to try to outmaneuver Obama on an issue in which he’s trailing, the economy, as the Democrat gains in polls. He quickly went before TV cameras minutes after speaking with Obama and before the two campaigns had hammered out a joint statement expressing that Congress should act urgently on the bailout.

And while McCain’s campaign said he would “suspend” his campaign, it simply will move to Washington knowing the spotlight will remain on him no matter where he is…

(original diary follows)

John McCain is proposing to postpone the first debate in order to concentrate on the economic crisis.  He has proposed a “politics free zone” (pulling campaign ads and doing no campaigning) until congress has reached a consensus on how to address the crisis.


Tom Kise would like to recall the message, “TALKING POINTS: Suspending; The Campaign”.

Please see talking points on the suspension of the campaign. Please do not proactively reach out to the media on this. If you are contacted independently, please let me know.




Tom Kise

Regional Communications Director – South Central Region

John McCain ’08


Cell: (303) 885-8915

Direct Dial: (303) 952-4696

Press Office: (703) 650-5550


Topline Messaging:

·         To address our nation’s financial crisis, John McCain will suspend his campaign and return to Washington. He has spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of his decision and has asked Senator Obama to join him.  The campaign is suspending its advertising and fundraising.

·         John McCain is calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including himself and Senator Obama.

·         John McCain is directing his campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until action has been taken to address this crisis.

·         It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.  This is a time to put our country first. We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved.

·         It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’s proposal.  He does not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.

·         Last Friday, John McCain laid out his proposal and has discussed his priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward.

·         America faces an historic crisis in our financial system, and we must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy.

·         John McCain is 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.

198 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Laughing Boy says:

    I won’t argue with any of you that think this is the most idiotic possible pandering bullshit thing he could have done.

    Especially postponing the foreign policy debate.


    • colorado76 says:

      as his first approach.  But when its his fifth or sixth approach its hard to see as anything other than politics.  He caught lightning in a bottle with governor Palin by shaking everything up, but in attempting to return to the well again I’m not sure he’ll find the same result.

    • redstateblues says:

      I severely doubt many Obama supporters would be that critical if it was Obama saying something this stupid.

    • Another skeptic says:

      Sen. McCain is showing leadership by going back to DC to get the GOP troops in line behind a bill he supports.

      That means he will insist on certain provisions before he commits to the bill, and he will go against his base again to do what’s right for America.

      Obama prefers to campaign, play politics and go along with the jerks who played huge roles in creating this mess and are trying to make the GOP the fall guys for their own blunders.

      If Obama were a leader, he’d go back to DC, demand that Schumer, Dodd and Frank get behind a workable bill and vote for it.

      Meanwhile, will Dems delay enactment to spite McCain and keep him off the campaign trail. Wouldn’t put it past them.

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        he has time for a national Presidential debate scheduled long ago.  Getting pathetic.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        then there is the NYTimes article (not op-ed like you think pass as facts) about Rick Davis being on the Fannie/Freddie payroll up until last month, specifically to provide ‘access’ to McCain.

        You really, really need some fresh talking points.

        • Another skeptic says:

          Read his attack on the NYT’s pro-Obama article.

          Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself.

          In fact, the allegation is demonstrably false. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis — weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual — since 2006. Again, zero. Neither has Mr. Davis received any equity in the firm based on profits derived since his financial separation from Davis Manafort in 2006.

          Further, and missing from the Times’ reporting, Mr. Davis has never — never — been a lobbyist for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Mr. Davis has not served as a registered lobbyist since 2005.

          Though these facts are a matter of public record, the New York Times, in what can only be explained as a willful disregard of the truth, failed to research this story or present any semblance of a fairminded treatment of the facts closely at hand. The paper did manage to report one interesting but irrelevant fact: Mr. Davis did participate in a roundtable discussion on the political scene with…Paul Begala.

          Again, let us be clear: The New York Times — in the absence of any supporting evidence — has insinuated some kind of impropriety on the part of Senator McCain and Rick Davis. But entirely missing from the story is any significant mention of Senator McCain’s long advocacy for, and co-sponsorship of legislation to enact, stricter oversight and regulation of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — dating back to 2006. Please see the attached floor statement on this issue by Senator McCain from 2006.

          To the central point our campaign has made in the last 48 hours: The New York Times has never published a single investigative piece, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod, his consulting and lobbying clients, and Senator Obama. Likewise, the New York Times never published an investigative report, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson and Senator Obama, who appointed Johnson head of his VP search committee, until the writing was on the wall and Johnson was under fire following reports from actual news organizations that he had received preferential loans from predatory mortgage lender Countrywide.

          Therefore this “report” from the New York Times must be evaluated in the context of its intent and purpose. It is a partisan attack falsely labeled as objective news. And its most serious allegations are based entirely on the claims of anonymous sources, a familiar yet regretful tactic for the paper.

      • Danny the Red (hair) says:

        Obama was worked with Frank and Dodd to write a workable bill.

        McCain has waffled so much, I don’t know what he supports.

        McCain’s going to Clinton’s Global initative tommorrow, doing a fund raiser with Lady de Rothchild today and interviews today.  Apparantly that is all more important than explaining to America why the Bailout is necessary and how best to stabilize the market without burdening the taxpayer.

        This is just a ploy to shake up the race.

        Everytime McCain loses momentum, he tries to take a crap in the punch bowl to change the conversation.  He did it during Obama’s overseas trip, he did it with the Palin pick, he’s doing it now.  McCain. Stunts not substance.

        People are already voting. They deseve to hear from the candidates.  Suspending the debates is just a three pronged ploy: 1. McCain changes the subject 2. McCain dodges questions about his complicity in the crisis and 3. hopefully he bumps the the Palin/Biden debate until after November 5.

        Obama called McCain this morning to try to work together on a statement of principals.  McCain answers back 6 hours later and agrees with Obama.  McCain gets off the phone with Obama and then drops the debate pull out unilaterally.  He then goes on an interview and says statements are “fine”, but action is necessary. Scum.  Perhaps McCain doesn’t realize negotiations begin with statements of principals.  And this guy is going to help with the Isreal/Palastinian conflict.

      • ajb says:

        64% – more than Tim Johnson – the Senator who had a stroke!

        Dems delay enactment? Do you mean to say you support this giveaway?

        And who created this big mess? maybe Alan Greenspan?

        And who does Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign chairman work for? Not you or me, but Freddy Mac!

        Get some facts.

        • Another skeptic says:

          Lying with statistics is so easy and obvious.

          • sxp151 says:

            He hasn’t voted for anything since April.


            And check this out: you don’t actually have to paste the entire thing, if you’ve linked to the article. Doing otherwise is spamming.

          • Danny the Red (hair) says:

            About half the votes are procedural.

            Half are ones that R’s and D’s oppose each other: many are votes where Rs join Ds to try to break clouture. meaning by definition the vote is close and important.

            McCain in technical terms is Chickenshit

            Senate Republicans blocked a bid by Democrats to add $44 billion to help the elderly, disabled veterans, the unemployed and businesses to an economic stimulus package. McCain opposed adding the additional funds, but whichever way he may have voted, it would have been a difficult choice


            McCain’s has actually missed several “crucial” energy votes. In July alone, he missed every single energy vote brought to the floor. This session, McCain has skipped votes supporting renewable energy tax credits four times, all of which were filibustered. In June, for example, McCain missed a vote on the landmark Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation.

            McCain has also been the “crucial” absent vote on key legislation. In December, legislation stripping tax break giveaways to Big Oil and investing in cleaner sources failed by one vote, 59-40 (Vote #425); McCain missed that vote to campaign. In February, McCain skipped a vote on extending tax credits to renewables, which also failed by one vote (Vote #8). Both times, McCain was the only senator absent.

            “It’s interesting to hear Sen. McCain talk about bringing Congress back” for a vote on offshore drilling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said this week. “He wasn’t even in Congress when we had two very important bills on energy.”

            UpdateTom Friedman: “John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year – which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.”


            “Sen. McCain has spent considerable time defending the president on Iraq and catering to the Republican base on immigration, but has only managed to show up for four of the last 14 Iraq votes and parachute into [yesterday’s] immigration press conference at the last minute. Who is the real John McCain?”

            While McCain has missed four of 14 Senate roll calls on the war this year, other presidential candidates have managed their schedules around the high-profile votes.


          • Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

            McCain just lost this election.  The American people won’t be fooled again by stupid human tricks.

            We all know this has NOTHING to do with saving America – it has to do with he is losing and is pulling any straw to save his ass.

            Is this how he would govern…?

            “Hey Osama, could you quit attacking us until I figure out the economy.  I am so old that I can only handle one task at a time.”

          • mr science says:

            McCain missed voting on an energy bill 8 times this year.

      • Half Glass Full says:

        Tom Kise would be proud of you! 🙂

    • parsingreality says:

      If LB is less than happy about this, so are many others.

      McCain is a hip shooting nutcase.  

  2. sxp151 says:

    So if picking Sarah Palin was a “Hail Mary Pass,” is this just one football team leaving the field in protest and hoping the referees will give them free points? Never heard of a game being won that way, but who knows?

  3. Arvadonian says:

    should counter by saing the VP debate should be Friday….

    • sxp151 says:

      What possible merit is there in this proposal?

      A possible Obama statement: “September 11 didn’t stop New York City from holding a primary election, and this crisis shouldn’t stop us from engaging in one of the most important debates in American history. I look forward to attending the scheduled debate, and I hope John McCain will be there too.”

      • Arvadonian says:

        given how McCain has been trying to sheild Palin from the media, it would be interesting to see them sweat an answer…

        Two days isn’t much time to cram for a full on debate (even with Kissinger coaching her on foreign policy).

      • One Queer Dude says:

        the more appropriate analogy was the 1932 presidential election which involve a robust campaign which took place in the middle of the last Great Republican Depression.

        • sxp151 says:

          much of New York was still in shock, and still cleaning up. It was one of the few things I thought Giuliani did really well: making sure the election still happened. Then he pissed it all away by asking to stay in office after he was term-limited out.  

    • rennes says:

      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.

      Graham says the McCain camp is well aware of the position of the Obama campaign and the debate commission that the debate should go on as planned – but both he and another senior McCain adviser insist the Republican nominee will not go to the debate Friday if there’s no deal on the bailout.


  4. Noelle Green says:

    From ABC News:

    ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos reports: If Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain doesn’t vote for the Bush administration’s $700 billion economic bailout plan, some Republican and Democratic congressional leaders tell ABC News the plan won’t pass.

    “If McCain doesn’t come out for this, it’s over,” a Top House Republican tells ABC News.

    A Democratic leadership source says that White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten has been told that

    Democratic votes will not be there if McCain votes no — that there is no deal if McCain doesn’t go along.

  5. sxp151 says:

    Cheers to Obama for not falling for this dumbest of all political stunts.

    Obama camp: the debate is on.

  6. Go Blue says:

    in the last 48 hours is the public polling. And the bi-partisan solution wasn’t even McCain’s idea. And further more:

    John McCain has skipped more votes during this session than any member of the Senate except for Tim Johnson, who had major brain surgery. All of a sudden, McCain demands that the presidential race shut down so he can return to Washington.

    For all of his sudden urgency, McCain acknowledged just yesterday that he had not even read the administration’s three-page bailout proposal.

    It’s impossible to know why McCain chose this course, but it sure seems like more of a political stunt than a maverick moment.

    He’s playing politics with our mortgage crisis as he did with Georgia. This is sickening.  

  7. Ben Stein's $$ says:

    For Obama? You know, just to keep tradition going.

    My 2 cents; these are 2 Senators that are running for President, not 2 governors or mayors.  It is their JOB to help pass/defeat this bill.

    • Go Blue says:

      to refresh your memory with facts, unless of course you take pride in your ignorance of the legislative process in IL?

      John McCain has skipped more votes during this session than any member of the Senate except for Tim Johnson, who had major brain surgery. All of a sudden, McCain demands that the presidential race shut down so he can return to Washington.

      • sxp151 says:

        Hunter at Daily Kos:

        Some fun facts about John McCain: Of all Senators, John McCain has been the most absent. There have been 643 votes taken in the current Senate session: McCain has missed 412 of them.

        McCain has not voted in the Senate since April 8th. Since March, he has missed 109 of the last 110 votes.

        He missed votes on the GI Bill, energy policy, and in 2007 he missed “all 15 critical environmental votes in the Senate” — giving him a 2007 rating of 0% from the League of Conservation Voters. Zero percent? I don’t think that’s fair. I think they should have given him an “incomplete”, and told him that he had to stay for summer session if he wants to graduate from the Senate.

      • Barron X says:


        but most votes are pretty inconsequential,

        in that the outcome is known beforehand.  

        If Cheney is coming across the street to vote,

        because of a possible tie,

        every swinging oops, almost slipped into Army vernacular –

        every Senator ought to be there, too.  

        Most of the votes that McCain missed were decided by wide margins, and his showing up wouldn’t have made any difference.  

        But Noelle’s quote from ABC News above indicates that McCain is critical for this vote.  

        I just fear he and the rest of the GOP are anxious to “solve” this while they can still control that tsunami of cash.

        The longer the Congress delays, the less urgent the situation becomes.  

        If consensus is delayed until November 5, and then passes, I’ll bet that Bush won’t sign it.  


    • Half Glass Full says:

      They have to brush their teeth, go to the bathroom, and get some sleep too, ya know.

      This was about the most transparent, stupid move that ever there was. I’d call it a “stunt” but that would imply some actual thought behind it. It seems like total panic on McCain’s part.

    • BlueCat says:

      to not make presidential political hay, grandstanding in the Senate, while the country needs to get a deal worked out that keeps screwing the public to a minimum.  

      And it’s not as if McCain knows anything about economics that would contribute any value to the back and forth.  Does he really think bringing his running around like a chicken without its head routine to DC is going to save the day?  Does anyone else?

      • sxp151 says:

        He’s planning to show up to vote. That’s it. That’s the reason he needs to be there, because Democrats have said they’re not going to let McCain run against their plan in this election. If he doesn’t vote for it, it won’t pass.

        Considering he hasn’t voted in six months, it’s quite possible he’s forgotten how. He needs a couple of days in Washington to prepare.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      is going to fly to the rescue of the bailout bill.  There are negotiations already in progress between Democrats and Republicans like Chris Dodd and Shelby regarding the bailout bill.  Does anyone really think that McCain has a better grip on the nuances of the negotiations than the Chairman of the banking committee.  McCain and Obama can both be apprised of the negotiations but other Senators and Representatives are already working diligently on a workable compromise.  Should McCain and Obama be present to debate and vote on the bill?  That is an obvious yes but to have McCain somehow pretend that he and only he can lead the negotiations is extreme silliness.  It will be interesting to see if he makes as big an impact as he did for Gustav putting together care packages.  That was another photo-op flop.

      • dwyer says:

        Minus the photo-op, the city is still reeling.  My family still does not have power, minutes from downtown.  The traffic lights have not been repaired and so there is erratic travel.

        Some people are in dire straights for food and safe water…

        These gd republicans…gd, gd, gd, repubs….FEMA is on vacation and bush is  on medication…gd.

        Of course, I think the mayor of Houston is democratic, although I am not positive.  Only repubs party regulars are able to get help for their jurisdiction, evidently…

        I am angry and frustrated.  Houston now is a sitting duck for another civil emergency.

  8. sxp151 says:

    “Where’s the button to delete this email I sent from everyone else’s computer?”

    Please, Republicans, don’t give up. We really want to win fair and square. We’re Democrats, it’s what we do.  

  9. Barron X says:


    Is McCain closing ranks with Bush ?

    To me, this is a clear sign that we need to go slow on this.

    Last night, on TV, a guy debating Paul Krugman said to let these ailing institutions take out loans, or sell equity shares.  

    Let the market correct itself.

    At least he still believes in the system.



  10. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    Michael Jordan is a good example, Tiger woods another one.

    McCain is making mistake after mistake in the final seconds.

    For all the bible thumpers out there, my Southern Baptist Minister Granddad would say, “You can do everything wrong or everything right, but God is going to put you where he wants you.”

    In this election, I guess God is voting Democratic. At least that what she told me.

  11. Go Blue says:

    The campaign is suspending its advertising and fundraising.

    I bet they break both of these promises.

  12. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    problems don’t come one at a time.  A president has to multitask.

    Suspend the campaign. fine.

    Change the topic of the debate. fine.

    Maybe they could debate what the bailout should look like and what the regulatory regime should look like.

    Let them bring advisors with them. That is how presidents make decisions.  I’d love to see Phil Gramm squirm explaining how McCain wants to regulate Wall Street.

    You know why the debate is important?  one of the jobs of a leader is to explain to the american people why a particular course of action is the right one.  The perfect format: a debate.  

  13. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    He is on MSNBC advocating for “not canceling the debates, but we can just postpone them.”


  14. One Queer Dude says:

       Now more than ever there should be a debate about the future of this country!

      McBush has got to come up with something dramatic since the No. 1 issue now is the economy, something he’s admitted that he doesn’t know much about.  

      Maybe while Henry Kissinger is tutoring Sarah Palin on world geography and history, Alan Greenspan can tutor McBush on economics and finance.

  15. redstateblues says:

    They’re going to debate foreign policy on Friday because, you know what, this financial crisis is bad, but we’re still fighting two wars.

    We need to see a debate about the future of this country’s place in the world.

    I feel like this is a time when both parties can come together and work out a deal that benefits the people it needs to benefit, punishes those it needs to punish, and doesn’t create an even bigger problem than the one it’s trying to fix.

  16. Fidel's dirt nap says:

    From CNN Wire:

    Obama: Friday debate should go on

    Posted: 04:51 PM ET

    CLEARWATER, Florida (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he wants Friday’s scheduled presidential debate to go ahead, despite John McCain’s call for a suspension of campaigning to deal with the faltering economy.

    “It’s my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible for dealing with this mess,” Obama said.

    He added, “I think that it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.”  

  17. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    A guy that wants to be President can’t handle a debate, a financial crisis and a war with two theaters?

    What does he think job is about? Meeting with Librarians on what books to ban and going home to feed your kids?

  18. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    Washington Post Poll

    Obama 52%

    McCain 42%

    Fox News Poll

    Obama 45%

    McCain 39%

  19. Vincent Lynn says:

    Obama’s response is classic…even though McCain beat him to the punch on this, Obama is making it sting. ‘As President you will have to handle more than one thing at a time.’

  20. Go Blue says:

    This is nothing more than yet another gimmick.

    The deal on the “bail out” is 98% done. Treasury has capitulated on almost every point. A draft is circulating on the Hill now. No one needs McCain to help do the remaining 2%….except the White House who has no standing on this matter on the Hill with either Democrats or Republicans.

    Time and time again McCain has tried to pull one over on the American people. While he helped create this financial mess, he’s now going to try and take credit for what bailout comes out of Congress. He’s an opportunist pig at the troth.

  21. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    since he can’t handle more than one thing at a time and the job of the VP is to step in when the president can no longer perform his/her duties (not just when the president dies (25th ammendment))

    How about Palin? She needs to be ready to step in for McCain anyway and since she has been the first runnerup in a beauty pagent she has experience with being prepared to step in if the winner is unable to perform her (his?) duties.  Why doesn’t she debate Obama?

    • sxp151 says:

      Instapundit and Riehl seem to like the idea. I don’t see the benefit to them, unless they think sending Palin to debate Obama is a huge insult to Obama (which shows what they really think of Palin).  

      • ClubTwitty says:

        since they have plunged us so deeply into crisis.  I can just imagine the speech-

        “My friends, representing the party that has been in power for seven of the last eight years, while we have waged two wars–one that was unnecessary that has kept us from finishing the job in the second, and costing billions in treasure and the lives of many of our citizens; while we have failed miserably in responding to domestic disasters; have raised spending while plunging our nation ever deeper in debt–both foreign and domestic; have awarded no bid contracts to our cronies who robbed the treasury; have politicized every level of our government, while refusing any accountability for our actions; have illegally spied on innocent Americans; and have generally run amok turning over the henhouse to various foxes, leading us into the mess we are in today; now is the time for leadership.  

        That is why I, John Sidney McCain, am calling on my opponent to join with me in canceling this election.  Because 8 more years of the same failed policies should be a bi-partisan effort.”

  22. sxp151 says:

    He apparently had to meet with the “Obama is an elitist” woman who splits time between London and New York, Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

    He also had to give an interview with Katie Couric in New York.

    So it’s just debates that need to be canceled during crises, not interviews or fund-raising?  

  23. bob ewegen says:

    isn’t the only one to bravely run away from a losing fight.

  24. MADCO says:

    Nothing has changed since last week- Fannie & Freddie went into receivership weeks ago: the Senate didn’t seem to need him then.

    FDIC chair indicated they are low on cash and have numerous institutions ont heir watch list. The Senate didn’t need him then.

    AIG, Merrill, Wachovia, WAMU, Lehman- all in panic and near free fall last week- the Senate didn’t need him then.

    The Gulf Coast was about to ge thammered by hurricanes and t-storms- the Senate didn’t need him then. We’ve been losing AMerican lives in Iraq all year long- Senate hasn’t needed him since April (his last vote).

    So earlier this week he goes form not answering the question about whether he’d vote vore the bailout as proposed if his vote was critical to – they can’t do this with out me?

    Sounds like the logical extension of the R campaign strategy to date- limit the media’s access to the candidates- pictures are great, but no questions. And now he’s got a team of lobbyists and media pros telling him he’s got nothing to gain by showing up at the debate.

    He lost my vote.

  25. ClubTwitty says:

    Here’s part of the Couric interview…

    • sxp151 says:

      I could watch it twenty times. That smile on Couric’s face, like she’s trying to calm down a whining child, and talking through her teeth. That “I’ll find some and bring ’em to ya!” sort of dodge, with the patronizing tone.

      I think you can sum up the entire Palin candidacy in this six-second clip.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        I man, seriously, a 72-year-old heart beat away from the presidency?  In the current situation our nation is in–foreign and domestic?

        It’s no wonder they won’t let her out to do a press conference or let the media actually report on what she does aside from the stump speeches.  She would be eviscerated.

        Holy-frickin-God, what a disaster.  Here’s the full interview…

        • shrubsrock says:

          while Medvedev is considered cutesy.

        • Half Glass Full says:

          OK, we’re going to be in another Great Depression and “perhaps” going to war with Russia over Georgia.

          She’s just a freakin’ IDIOT. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.

        • Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

          Palin has no clue about foreign affairs, her running mate or the economy.

          She is really done after this interview. BTW, did you see the look of pure revulsion in Katie’s face?

          Like I said before the sad part is that the McCain camp has ruined what was properly a pretty good life for this woman. She went from the most popular governor in the US to the most stupid VP running mate in recent history.

          McCain is just a walking “Bad luck Shelprock”.  (You know Flintstones and the Dinosaurs; they all lived together in harmony) That’s what Katie should have asked about. 🙂

          Can any of you Repubs defend this?

          • ClubTwitty says:

            but even I could name a couple of things he has done vis a vis reform in the 26 years he’s been a Washington insider.

            You’d think that running as ‘mavericks’ and ‘reformers’ they would have briefed her on that, no?  

            Palin is a disaster and the thought of her as president is downright terrifying.  

        • parsingreality says:

          “Oh, was that question for me?”

          Wow.  What a buffoon.

        • Fidel's dirt nap says:

          My god that is completely pathetic.  Total lightweight.

  26. Half Glass Full says:

    Let’s call Osama Bin Laden and ask him to stop killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan for a week or two because, ya know, we gotta spend a couple days focusin’ on fixin’ the economy!

  27. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    He is calling his campaign management every name in the book.

    Can a man be a cunt?

  28. HB says:

    I find it difficult to find anything wrong with McCain wanting to postpone the debates to do his job.  In fact, I think it’s somewhat irresponsible for Obama to insist on doing them now, when Congress is trying to hammer this bailout package out by the end of the week.  Regardless of partisan politics, and who has voted for what in the past, our country is in a crisis right now and we need or legislators to keep their eyes on the ball and do their job.  Quickly.  

    On a separate note, McCain is a notably better debater than Barack (this NY Times article sums it up pretty well:… so it’s unreasonable to say that this move was completely in his own self-interest.  But like I said, I just want them both to get to Washington and do their jobs.

    • sxp151 says:

      Everyone else in Congress has actually done the work on this, and he wants to sweep in, call himself indispensable, and muck it all up.

      And everyone who wants to try defending McCain on this should remember: McCain still hasn’t read the proposal.

      It’s three pages long! Three pages! You can read it on the toilet!

      Yeah, this is a stunt. Not so much to get McCain out of the debates, but to get Palin out of hers.  

      • HB says:

        “Yeah, this is a stunt. Not so much to get McCain out of the debates, but to get Palin out of hers.”  

        YOUR hyperlink says:

        “The aide did not know whether Gov. Palin would attend Oct. 2’s vice presidential debate if Congress, by that point, still hasn’t reached a deal.

        Another aide said: ‘The VP debate is days off. We’re focused on getting a deal and getting to the debate on Friday.'”

        Where is your support for this statement?

        • sxp151 says:

          and McCain’s latest proposal is to reschedule the first Presidential debate, um, right on top of the Vice Presidential debate.


          The other shoe drops. CNN reports:

             McCain surrogate 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.

          A “date yet to be determined.” Let me guess: November 5th. I mean: why does she need to debate at all? She won’t give press conferences, so why should she debate?

          • Go Blue says:

            (Hannity doesn’t count)

            If she loses in an interview, how’s she going to do against Biden let alone foreign dictators?

            BTW, did McCain just “cut and run” from the debates?

    • ohwilleke says:

      Why start now?

  29. dwyer says:

    Let me tell you when I believe the US started to win the “hearts and minds” contest. Forty five years ago when Kennedy was assassinated, i was a volunteer living in a rural area in colombia…first American anyone had ever seen. I had only been there a few weeks and people were still very wary of me when Kennedy got killed.  People thought since I wasn’t panicked that somehow I was part of the conspiracy which killed Kennedy….a bit tense ..since I kept saying that the country would be okay….then, the whole world watched Americans pick up the pieces and go on….no rioting in the streets; no hiding….Mrs. Kennedy took her kids out in public….the mail was delivered, trains ran.

    That is the kind of courage which comes from believing in your basic government institutions….that is the kind of courage the everyday America has…..the campaign should go on; the debates should go on.

  30. Yokel says:

    McCain is inside Obama’s OODA loop.  

    Either Obama runs against his “bipartisan change” message and is derelict in his oath of office as a Senator, or he’s following McCain’s lead.  

    Hopefully they don’t all get together and strap us with billions of dollars in spreading fascism now.  

      • Yokel says:

        Miss the one time people will care, thus marking out the “six month” talking point, or follow John McCain’s lead like a junior Senator reminded of his duty.  

        Brilliant move politically.  Hopefully they don’t waste lots of our money subsidizing jackass economics.

        • sxp151 says:

          It’s McCain who hasn’t been seen in the Senate in six months. I believe his missed-vote percentage is up to 65%. The next highest Senator is in the high forties.

          • Yokel says:

            That all disappears when Obama doesn’t show up for the one vote that actually matters.  

            • sxp151 says:

              He’s shown up for many votes. This would likely be one of them.

              Are you trying to claim that if Obama shows up to vote in the Senate, it’s because McCain made him do it? That’s just stupid.

              • Yokel says:

                Since McCain called for it.  And after all, “showing up to vote” isn’t exactly leadership, though it’s what Barack knows best.  

                • shrubsrock says:

                  I’m surprised to see that from you.

                • sxp151 says:

                  The Bush gang asked for something, the Congress said “Fuck off,” then Congress started writing their own bill. Did you think they weren’t going to hold a vote on it unless McCain swung in?  

                • Go Blue says:

                  What will McCain do in DC tomorrow? He’s not on the Senate Banking Committee. He doesn’t have any allies in the Senate. He’s “the maverick” remember? He literally has NOTHING to do expect waste everyone else’s time.

                  All he’s doing is cutting and running from this debate. Which brings up the next question. Will this be the first presidential debate that was purposely no-showed by one candidate in American history?

                  • Yokel says:

                    You mean as the guy in the middle, brokering bipartisan deals in the deadlocked, 60-vote-necessary Senate, like he always does?  

                    Yeah, he’s got no place there.

                    Send your boy to go cast a “present” vote, while McCain does what he always does – hammer on finding the middle ground.  

                    And I like the whole “Chris Dodd’s got this all in hand.”  I’m sure the guy who’s the only Senator to have taken more money from the FMs than Barack Obama has things well in hand.  

                    Isn’t there a cliche for that?  Something about foxes and hen-houses?

                    • Go Blue says:

                      I never said he didn’t have any friends. I said “allies in the senate,” which as the self-described Maverick, he simple doesn’t. The only brokering McCain did was during the S&L scandal. Most of his own party will tell you that. It’s a simple fact.

                      But he has plenty of friends in DC, but for the most part they hang out on K Street. Speaking of which, where’s that $2Million Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae lobbyist Rick Davis been hiding out lately?

                      And again, do you pride yourself with ignorance of history? McCain has abandoned his position in the US Senate for more than a year and bring up a well known legislative process from the IL senate  against Obama. Pathetic.

                      McCain’s campaign is jumping from one gimmick to the next. His entire campaign is a deck of cards about to fall.

                    • redstateblues says:

                      A house of cards about to fall.

                      Or maybe, McCain’s not playing with a full deck?

                    • Go Blue says:

                      I just created a new saying! Whatever it is, he’s running around like his comb-over is on fire.

                      In related news, several pundits noted McCain’s polar swing from dissing economic concerns last Monday to hair-on-fire panic today. That sort of bipolar, crisis-to-crisis reactivity is normally taken as a sign that a person (or campaign) has no idea what is going on.

                      One thing is sure. It’s NOT Presidential.

                    • redstateblues says:

                      how much better Obama looks after today. Can you imagine McCain in a crisis? I thought he was supposed to be a “tested hand” ready to answer that 3 AM phone call.

                      Well the phone rang and JSM sent it to voicemail.

                    • Go Blue says:

                      The New York Times is reporting McCain is not prepared for the debate.

                      The debate on Friday was to focus on Mr. McCain’s perceived strength, foreign policy. Mr. McCain had not planned to devote large blocks of time to debate practice as did Mr. Obama, who was holing up with a tight circle of advisers at a hotel in Clearwater, Fla., on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to prepare. Mr. McCain had a preparatory session on Wednesday afternoon at the Morgan Library in Manhattan, but advisers said it had been interrupted by his decision, announced immediately afterward, to suspend his campaign.

                      but here’s the political reason

                      Mr. McCain made his decision to try to delay the debate as he has been struggling to find his political footing on the financial crisis and a number of recent polls showed that more Americans trust Mr. Obama to handle the economy than Mr. McCain. Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, has also come under scrutiny this week because of his ties to Freddie Mac, one of the mortgage giants at the heart of the credit crisis.

                      He really cannot do more than one thing at a time.

                      And for what? A grandstanding photo op.  

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Did you see the clip of him explaining the situation that they showed on the Daily Show the other night.  At one point he says, as if this is news to him, and I’m closely paraphrasing here… turns out a bunch of these things are inter-connected!  

                      Later on he gets lost,as usual, in a metaphor between house of cards and deck of cards.  The whole thing was quite jaw dropping, showing a complete lack of understanding or ability to explain anything about the economic crisis in anything approaching a cogent manner.  

                      What must the rest of the world think of us for electing this ignorant buffoon twice? And how did he get an MBA?  

                    • Gilpin Guy says:

                      McCain is forcing Obama’s hand?  Is that really your reality?  You complain about Dodd but you ignore Paulson’s connections to Wall Street.  The administration tried to do another panic vote and got called out on it.  Now when Congress is taking the proposal and engaging in crafting a better bill you claim they can only work when John McCain is present.  Maybe McCain can rush in some of those care packages that he boxed up in Mississippi.  They must be getting pretty stale by now.  It is kind of fun in a perverse way reading these comments.  I have to accept at face value that you really really believe that John McCain is a tactical genius and this is one of the smartest moves in a long line of strategic triumphs.  It is amazing what humans can believe.  I think the other cliche was that one is born every minute.

        • Go Blue says:

          because you Neo-Cons only deal in absolutes.

          It’s good thing our Congressional leaders do not, like Chris Dodd who proposed the third way for this bailout, not an up or down (two option) vote on what Bush/Paulson pitched.

          This is what’s wrong with your ideology, and your candidate; a very narrow world-view of black and white.

          The third option in this case, is mocking McCain for his obvious political gimmickry (which isn’t leadership), and showing up to the debate without him since Obama can do more than one thing at a time (without a nap). I’m sure the American people will love being stood up by McSame who have overwhelming said the debates should go forward.  

          • Yokel says:

            You must really be miffed at McCain.

            Face it – your guy’s been puh-owned again.  McCain now owns this narrative, despite being out-gunned on the policy.  And the fix will have his name, not Obama’s on it.  

            • Go Blue says:

              The narrative is McCain’s scared to debate!

              Many presidential debates have taken place during the times of crisis. Reagan v. Carter and Gore v. Bush to name just two of the most recent.

              Face it, McCain is cutting and running right now.  

              • Yokel says:

                What crisis was that?  Were we almost falling into a depression due to government over-reach into financial decisions, too?

                McCain is showing leadership – he has his priorities straight.  He first swore an oath to serve as Senator of the United States, not a Presidential Candidate.  

                I guarantee you’ll hear “I’d rather lose an election than see my country slip into depression” in the coming days.  And it will resonate, especially if Obama keeps playing childish political point-scoring.

                • Go Blue says:

                  For all the tough talk on terrorism you right-wing nuts preach you sure do have a short memory. The USS Cole was bombed on Oct. 12, 2000. and yet the presidential debates went on.

                  If McCain swore and oath serve, why hasn’t he done his duty in over a year? His missed more votes than a Tim Johnson!

                  And as for McCain’s one-liners, nothing can ever top “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” That will be THE line of the campaign. And trying to paint his opponent as un-patriotic shows how fucking pathetic and desperate he is.

                  Thanks for the chuckles yokel. You’re always good for at least one laugh.

                • ClubTwitty says:

                  I didn’t know transparent political stunts were called such.  I suppose when you’re bankrupt you reach for whatever straws you can.


                  I find the comments especially helpful.

                  So, Senator McCain wants to suspend the presidential campaign and cancel the debate, huh? Reminds me of the times when I was a kid playing chess with my father, and when I saw I was losing I would “accidentally” overturn the chess board and send the pieces crashing to the floor.

                  The day McCain presented this desperate publicity stunt of his- in a shameless attempt to yank Senator Obama off the campaign trail and try to grab the political spotlight- was also the same day that, for the first time, Obama had grabbed the lead in a big way for the first time, with 52% of the vote in national polls. Coincidence? I don’t think so….

                  McCain is afraid. He’s a lousy at debating and Palin is unprepared. They should go on with the debates. Grow at set…both of you (McCain/Palin) The show must go on….

                  The next thing McCain will do is take credit for everybody coming to a deal. Doesn’t matter that the deal will be almost done before he arrives. If he gets elected, I sure hope he’ll be able to multi-task, ’cause it doesn’t appear now that he is capable of that. Oh, I forgot, he is still able to change his message in the same day…does that count as multi-tasking? LOL

                  McCain quotes of 2008.

                  “I don’t believe we are headed for a recession”.

                  “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should, but I’ve got Greenspan’s book”.

                  “I believe the fundamentals of this country are strong & I believe they will remain strong”.

                  John McCain admitted he “doesn’t really understand economics” and then pointed to his adviser and former Senate colleague, Phil Gramm – whom he had brought with him to the meeting – as the expert he turns to on the subject.

                  What is he GOING TO DO in Washington to help this economic disaster?

                  John is just looking for a photo-op. Plain and simple.

                  Frankly, it’s disgusting. This man will stoop to anything to win the election. What a turkey!

                  I wonder if by suspending “his campaign” that includes the RNC ads and all of the various proxy groups that make up the majority of his real campaign. For those that aren’t aware, McCain is basically getting around all of the “campaign finance reform” that he’s such a big fan of by using these loopholes. His campaign is actually just as big as Senator Obama’s, except that he’s getting the $85M in taxpayer funds as well. So, if Senator Obama shut down his campaign he would have nothing out there, while McCain would actually be giving up almost nothing.

                  I also found it amusing (if it weren’t so sad) that McCain’s campaign just so happened to suggest that it should be postponed to the night of the VP debate. Apparently they found out that Palin is much less prepared than they even imagined and they hope to get rid of the VP debate to hide it or at the very least buy her some time to prepare a little more.

                  This is pathetic.

                  McCain is a gambler. His decision making is suspect, he takes too many gamble for my liking. McCain will gamble with our futures if he is president.

                  Those are just the first eight.

                  The next one is from someone who identifies himself as a retired Colonel.

                  Game Changers? Nah more like the next knee jerk run away from your problem move from Senator Mc Same. His puppet masters Rove, Schmidt, and Davis not letting his last knee jerk decision out of a cocoon because they are afraid of what she might say now they don’t want him to stand next to a man with a better temperament on national TV this Friday. Like Senator Obama said now is the time to get to look at who we are going to pick to clean up this latest mess brought to you by the George W. Bush Republican years.

                  Then, to be fair, there are three pro-McCain comments, followed by another two that see it for the stunt it is.  On the Christian Science Monitor, comments are 3 that believe its ‘leadership’ and 12 that think it’s phony.  

        • Fidel's dirt nap says:

          to drum up support for the campaign. “just $ 10,000 dollars a year in additional taxes can make a difference in a Wall St. bankers life “

    • ClubTwitty says:

      He is more needed to strike a bargain.  Thus will he too ‘suspend his campaign’ and cancel his TV ads and fundraising” After all it’s not a time for partisanship. (And McCain did find time to meet with elitist ‘redneck’ loving Lady Rotshchild for a fundraising call).  

    • Go Blue says:

      You mean the self-described economic illiterate is going to single handily fix our economic crisis? And as for his economic brain trust… Keep Foreclosure Phil Gramm and Golden Parachute Carly away from that table!

      McCain has nothing, absolutely nothing good to offer here. He had an opportunity to take up Obama’s offer to work together, but he decided to grandstand. He decided to put his political ambitions ahead of what’s best for our country.

      Plain and simple, he’s a really old drama queen.

  31. Roger D says:


    Wed Sep 24 2008 17:41:58 ET

    David Letterman tells audience that McCain called him today to tell him he had to rush back to DC to deal with the economy.

    Then in the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, “Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?”

    Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, “You don’t suspend your campaign. This doesn’t smell right. This isn’t the way a tested hero behaves.” And he joked: “I think someone’s putting something in his metamucil.”

    “He can’t run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?”

    “What are you going to do if you’re elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We’ve got a guy like that now!”


  32. Go Blue says:

    He was one fire tonight!

    Did you all notice the make-up girl in that clip? She’s paid over $5,000 by the campaign to do McCain’s make-up and has worked for other celebrities on American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.  

  33. Go Blue says:

    I guess when you’re using the Bush playbook to run your campaign you shouldn’t be surprised when people view you as no different than Bush.

    Opinion Dynamics for Fox News. 9/22-23. Registered voters. 3% (9/8-9 results)

    McCain (R) 39 (46)

    Obama (D) 45 (48)

    And cutting and running from the debates (a public forum!) isn’t going to improve the public perception.  

  34. Half Glass Full says:

    The “Tell” that McCain’s “let’s not debate” gambit is a purely political desperation move came in the companion statement that they might postpone the Vice Presidential debate – scheduled for Oct. 2 – if a bailout plan still hadn’t been reached.

    Now, the reason for postponing the Presidential debate is that McCain is supposedly too busy saving the country to even spend a couple of hours on a Friday night debating foreign policy.

    What’s the reason for postponing the VP debate, then? Sarah Palin isn’t in the Senate and doesn’t have a federal job.

    That, “my friends,” is known as a Tell.

  35. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    The campaigns have internal polling.  My guess is they know they have lost a few key states.  Now they have to protect the Senate and Congressional seats.

    McCain can not win the Presidency, so they have to stop the Palin / McCain ticket from losing races for the down tickets. And given the last few interviews, my guess is the debates would sink every republican running for office.

    That would be my guess. There is no reason to suspend your camapign less than 40 days out from an election.

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      is that the McCain campaign wanted to reschedule Friday’s debate for the time slot allotted for the VP debate.  Then, delay and quibble about the VP debate until the election, until it’s too late and, presto, we never get a VP debate.  

      This keeps Palin from embarrasing herself and all Republicans for that matter.

      • Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

        The Presidential debate will influence voters.

        To be honest, I have no idea what the hell the McCain camp is thinking.  It all seems like another knee jerk reaction that was not well thought out.

      • RavenDawg says:

          I think you got it (Olberman said the same thing on Letterman last nite)–the tactical goal here is to keep Palin off stage, and gambling they can pull it off with skeptical voters and media.

         In a recent NY Review of Books essay by Joseh Lilyveld, he states that by nature McC is fundamentally a gambler.  This whole sequence beginning with the Palin nomination and now this “suspension” is looking like a gambler on a losing streak, trying to get back by making more and bigger bets.  

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