The political Quote of the Day comes from The Politico’s Ben Smith on GOP Presidential campaign John McCain’s dramatic announcement that due to the economic crisis he is suspending his campaign, heading back to Washington and wants rival Democratic. Sen. Barack Obama to do the same and to postpone Friday’s debate:
McCain suspends his campaign, and asks to postpone Friday’s debate, to address the financial crisis.
Both candidates have been marginal players; McCain, though, seems to have the potential to make himself a major one, and his move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn’t like the way this campaign is going.
But in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that’s changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.
And, indeed, there has a clear and major trend today in political polls, including one from Fox News. Meanwhile, news reports suggest the administration’s massive bailout is in major trouble in Congress and the consequences of no action could be catastrophic. So a) McCain can play a role b) the timing of this is indeed politically advantageous (confirmed reports say Obama called McCain earlier about issuing a joint statement of principles and McCain’s announcement to suspend came after that) to McCain. Genuine bipartisanship or political ploy? The answer will come in upcoming political rhetoric and/or campaign ads.
Will this decision be a game-changer as well as a policy-influencer?See Shaun Mullen’s earlier post on McCain’s announcement and scroll down and see several posts today on the most recent polls on the race. Question on the debates: shouldn’t politicians be able to juggle more than one task at once?
UPDATE: Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly is our second quote of the day:
So, this morning, Obama called McCain with a straightforward idea: if both candidates supported similar provisions, the two sides could endorse a joint set of principles. McCain, this afternoon, agreed. Obama did this quietly, away from the media spotlight, and without leaking anything to the media. Just one candidate looking for a bipartisan solution with a rival candidate. Everyone was happy.
And almost immediately after an agreement was reached, McCain, in the middle of debate prep, decides it’s time for a stunt. How very sad that McCain’s desperation has become this transparent.
Details are a little sketchy at this point, but as I understand it, Obama still wants a debate on Friday, as planned, and does not plan to suspend his campaign, but we’re supposed to get another statement on these developments from Obama very soon.