McCain Suspends Campaign to ‘Work on the Economy’

John McCain has put his campaign on hold for the good of the country and has asked Barack Obama to do the same.

Republican John McCain said Wednesday he is directing his staff to work with Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign and the presidential debate commission to delay Friday’s debate because of the economic crisis.

In a statement, McCain said he will stop campaigning after addressing former President Clinton’s Global Initiative session on Thursday and return to Washington to focus on the nation’s financial problems.

McCain said he wants President Bush to convene a leadership meeting in Washington that would include him and Obama.   “It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the administration’s proposal,” McCain said. “I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.”

McCain said if Congress does not pass legislation to address the crisis, credit will dry up, people will no longer be able to buy homes, life savings will be at stake and businesses will not have enough money. “If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted,” McCain said. “We cannot allow this to happen.”

McCain said he has spoken to Obama about his plans and asked the Democratic presidential nominee to join him.

The Obama campaign said Obama had called McCain around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible. McCain called back six hours later and agreed to the idea of the statement, the Obama campaign said. McCain’s statement was issued to the media a few minutes later.

“We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved,” McCain said. “I am 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. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.”

This is a brilliant bit of political jujitsu: a brazen political stunt that looks like bold leadership.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    This is a brilliant bit of political jujitsu: a brazen political stunt that looks like bold leadership.

    There is certainly a risk that it will be seen that way.

  2. just me says:

    I don’t see how it hurts him-not only does it look like leadership it gives him a club to beat Obama over the head with, if Obama stays on the trail.

  3. anjin-san says:

    Might be a good move in light of the fact he is tanking. On the other hand, it could well backfire, it is a trifle transparent, and there is a sitting President in the White House. (sort of)

  4. sam says:

    I don’t see how it hurts him

    I meant to add, the Obama campaign can say, “Well, yeah, he’s rushing back to clean up a mess he and his party made. He should be back there.”

  5. anjin-san says:

    Another thought is that given McCain’s general incoherence regarding the economic crisis, I am not that a tight focus on the issue helps him.

  6. Steve Plunk says:

    I guess we could also say it’s bold leadership that looks like a brazen political stunt. We really don’t have enough information to call it either way, do we?

    Which party made the mess? Both. The facts do not absolve either party.

  7. James, your assessment is that of an over-educated elitist, who thinks we can talk our way out of this crisis, when war heroes know that you have to march to the sound of the guns, roll up your sleeves, and without blinking confront the issue head on.

    /did I do it right?

  8. Bystander says:

    The sorry truth is that decades of DC shenanigans has created an entire nation of skeptics. Is anybody confident that this is a genuine move without any covert political motives?

  9. rodney dill says:

    Some Jackasses will always second guess it, but its the right move. (to go work on the problem)

    The spinmasters will have a lot of fun with it when the campaigning resumes, (as if it will ever really stop.)

  10. Bithead says:

    I make no specific alligations, here, but I’ve found over the years one of the best ways to measure such things is to reverse roles. So… question: I wonder how it would be now were Obama to have made such a move first?

  11. James Joyner says:

    /did I do it right?

    You’re getting the hang of it, Barney.

  12. Alex Knapp says:

    Really, I don’t see what’s so surprising about this. Suspension of campaigns to deal with problems happens all the time.

    I mean, who could forget 1980 when the Reagan and Carter campaigns agreed to stop campaigning to focus on the Iranian hostage crisis. And who could forget the 1992 campaign, when Bush and Clinton agreed to stop campaigning in order to focus on the recession? Of course, in 2004 Bush and Kerry didn’t have any debates or campaigning so that they could mutually focus on a plan to deal with Iraq.

    Really, this type of thing hearkens back even further. Elections were suspended in 1944 so Roosevelt could focus on fighting the Nazis. In 1860, all campaigning was suspended while the Senate furiously worked to broker a deal between North and South. And who could forget the crises during the election of 1800, in which Jefferson ceded his electors’ votes to Adams because Jefferson felt that only Adams could prevent war between America and France?

    Oh wait–none of those things happened? Silly me. Here I was thinking that McCain was acting in sync with elections throughout American history, not providing a bizarre aberration so he could cowardly sneak his way out of debating his opponent.

  13. chi says:

    If McCain when called by Obama this morning about the crisis had said why dont WE both suspend campaigning and the debate then maybe this would not be regarded as more of a political stunt.

  14. Bithead says:

    Alex:
    (chuckle)
    Very good.

    You know, a thought occurs… for all of Anjin’s party line bluster about how McCain is tanking supposely being the reason behind this move… it may work to Obama’s advantage… providing an opportunity to get Loose Cannon Biden back in his mounts.

  15. Alex Knapp says:

    Alex:
    (chuckle)
    Very good.

    Thanks. And for the record, if Obama had pulled this stunt, I would have written the same snarky comment. Hell, if they had both, together, decided to do it, I STILL would have called them out.

  16. sam says:

    @Bit

    I make no specific alligations, here, but I’ve found over the years one of the best ways to measure such things is to reverse roles. So… question: I wonder how it would be now were Obama to have made such a move first?

    If he was tanking in the polls over the economy, with a debate coming up in two days, I’d say it was a stunt, too.

  17. anjin-san says:

    I don’t think this is going to play. If FDR could campaign and conduct a world war, I think McCain should be able to make it to the debate. Let’s change the topic to the economy, so the voters can hear what each candidate has to say.

    This is shaping up as “Its the fourth quarter, I am losing, I want a time out”.

  18. sam says:

    Here’s a thought (not original with me, but): A president ought to be able to multitask, don’t you think?

  19. Brett says:

    It’s like the Town Hall Meetings; it’s a way to stop the Obama campaign from continuing to hammer him, and to get some free press coverage at the same time (looking “leaderly”).

  20. McCain's White Flag?…

    News report: Republican John McCain said Wednesday he wants to delay Friday's debate with Democratic rival Barack Obama and temporarily put aside their partisan campaign to resolve the nation's financial crisis. McCain's announcement cam…

  21. McCain is totally trying to avoid the debate. His presence in DC for an extra few hours will add nothing substantively to the bailout talks. He should face Obama in the debate and then go to DC.

  22. Dantheman says:

    Wait a minute — I thought the fundamentals of our economy were strong. Why does it need any work?

  23. Rick Almeida says:

    Sen. McCain hasn’t cast a roll call vote since March, but this, my friends, this is change we can believe in.

  24. Eh, this seems way way way too obvious to be effective. The people paying enough attention to notice will mostly be paying enough attention to regard it as a cheap gimmick.

  25. G.A.Phillips says:

    Some Jackasses will always second guess it, but its the right move. (to go work on the problem)

    Hey nice line.

    I meant to add, the Obama campaign can say, “Well, yeah, he’s rushing back to clean up a mess he and his party made. He should be back there.”

    hey nice lie.

  26. Fence says:

    Brilliant? Seems more like a wtf to me. Notice how he calls for pulling TV ads, even though the running of those pre-recorded ads hardly sap his ability to attend to the financial situation. Is he running out of funds? The other thing I don’t get is that he now seems to be behind and lost momentum. Shouldn’t he want the debate?

    Moreover, now he seems to have opened the door to something worse, which would be for Obama to say he agrees that the economy is the most important issue and propose that the debate be focused solely on the economy and not foreign affairs as now planned. Oops.

    A few days ago he was the front-runner. All of the sudden his campaign is looking like Bob Dole’s did around Halloween.

  27. rickey turner says:

    Mr. McCain should go back to D.C. evon after nov. 4

  28. […] Discussion: The Huffington Post, The Nation, StephenBainbridge.com, I Am TRex and Outside The Beltway […]

  29. Anderson says:

    I think I need the “brilliant” part explained to me some more.

  30. Crust says:

    McCain is, for the most part, suspending his campaign and wants to suspend the debate because his work on the bailout is so important. But some things are even more important important. Like meeting with Lady Lynn de Rothschild (of unconsciously ironic Obama is “elitist” fame).

  31. Alex, the only problem with the snark is that the person down always wants the debate since they have nothing to lose.

    Yeah, it’s more of a stunt than a roll up the sleeves and go to work thing, but if the crisis is really a crisis a la Senator Clinton’s “Great Depression” comments of late, isn’t that what all the senators ought to be doing?

  32. Crust says:

    So much for “brilliant” jujitsu. A snap poll found that only 10% of voters support postponing the debate and only 14% suspending the campaign.

  33. sam says:

    So much for “brilliant” jujitsu. A snap poll found that only 10% of voters support postponing the debate and only 14% suspending the campaign.

    And Obama has said he wants the debate to go forward. No better time, according to him, for the American people to see both candidates address the economic issue. From the poll:

    What to do about debates?

    Hold as Scheduled 50%
    Hold with Econ Focus 36%
    Postpone 10%

  34. Wayne says:

    “A president ought to be able to multitask, don’t you think?”

    Is that why Obama is suspending campaigning for three days to prepare for the debate?

    McCain ask for a delay in the debate and did not say he wouldn’t show up for it. It wouldn’t surprise me if he went back to DC then show up for debate then go back to DC. Unlike Obama, McCain doesn’t need to be train up on foreign policies.

  35. sam says:

    Sure, Wayne. At least David Letterman’s on the case:

    EXCLUSIVE: LETTERMAN MOCKS MCCAIN CANCELLATION
    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!”

    [Source]

  36. Wayne says:

    Sam getting your political points from David Letterman explains your delusional perspective. McCain said “Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative”. The interviewed by Katie Couric happen before the plan campaign suspension. Also when McCain says “suspend my campaign” he probably means personally not Palin, most campaign staff and such.

    “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!”

    If this situation tells you anything, McCain will be addressing the problem and Obama will be out campaigning.

  37. […] James Joyner:  “This is a brilliant bit of political jujitsu: a brazen political stunt that looks like bold leadership.” […]

  38. anjin-san says:

    McCain will be addressing the problem interjecting electoral politics into an already delicate situation…

  39. sam says:

    Wayne, I think you’re suffering from a temporal delusion:

    “The interview by Katie Couric happened before the plan campaign suspension.”

    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?”

    That says McCain told Letterman about the suspension before the Couric interview, doesn’t it?

  40. Wayne says:

    What are you going to believe McCain statement that was tape and documented, or a partisan Comedian on a talk show?

    I also highly doubt that McCain would personally call David Letterman to tell him about plans to rush back to DC. Remember that David was the person that gave Hillary the so call “gotcha questions” before the interview. He also went after Bush during their interview. Letterman is a left wing hack. For you to swallow anything he said as gospel truth says a great deal about you.

  41. sam says:

    Wayne, Wayne, go back and read the first post, buddy. If Letterman didn’t know about the suspension, then the guy’s a freaking psychic. Of course, if you are basing your argument, if that’s what it is, on the fact the McCain didn’t announce to the public at large that he was suspending the campaign until after the Letterman incident, and thus, the campaign wasn’t “officially” suspended until then, well, ya got me. But, really, that is weak.

  42. jake says:

    An open letter to all my fellow Democrats:

    Our party has been overtaken by an extreme left wing marxist agenda led by Barack Hussain Obama and his operatives. In order for our party to become at all legitimate again; the marxist trash must be taken out to the dumpster where it belongs!

    A petition must be sent to Mr. Biden to withdraw from his VP position, stand up and defend the Democratic party from this wanna be marxist ruler and his thugs …before it is too late! Mr. Biden must do this for not only the good people of the mainstream democratic party, but also for the good of our country.

    My fellow democrats I ask of you;

    “Do not God Damn America …but with a sincere heart say only God Bless America!”

  43. milo says:

    Jujitsu?

    Seppuku.

  44. Floyd says:

    Why bother with the wink-wink “”debate”” At all.
    It is for sure the reactions have already been written.

    Headline reads…

    “”OBAMA WINS DEBATE!! LOOKS PRESIDENTIAL!
    Obama won last night’s debate handily by promising change, justice and equality along with fairness and only taxing the rich!! Isn’t he DREAMY??He just makes us SWOON! The Exit poll from the debate shows that anybody who votes against him is both stupid AND racist!””

    Now , you’ve read Saturday’s paper so let’s just skip the debate and get on with the election.

  45. Bithead says:

    if Obama had pulled this stunt, I would have written the same snarky comment.

    Doubtless. But you’re hardly in a position to move the national debate in either direction, nor am I. THe media, on the other hand….

    For my own part, my own reaction was terse.

    So, when faced with a choice of doing the work of the people, work he was already elected to do, or working for his own political advancement, Obama has chosen to serve his own political advancement. That’s all we need to know about Obama’s fitness for office.

    Call McCain’s move what you will. I may even agree, though given his history I tend toward giving him the benefit of the doubt. But however that may be, the rather telling initial reaction of Obama to that move cannot be ignored.

  46. tom p says:

    To all: Not much time tonite, so take it for what it is worth.

    By McCain’s own admission, he knows nothing about economics. (unlike most of my my liberal counterparts I do not fault him for this admission of shortcomings)(Indeed, I laud him for this)(however, I fault him for his choice of economic advisers)

    Soooo… Just exactly WHAT can he add to the discussion? By his own admission, NOTHINTG! (except maybe a temper tantrum or 2)

    I agree with James:

    This is a brilliant bit of political jujitsu: a brazen political stunt that looks like bold leadership.

  47. DCE says:

    Rick Almeida said:

    Sen. McCain hasn’t cast a roll call vote since March, but this, my friends, this is change we can believe in.

    And Obama hasn’t cast one in, what, 2 years? So your point is?

  48. anjin-san says:

    though given his history I tend toward giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    What history is that? His history of hiring mortgage industry lobbyists to run his campaign?

    When he did push that story down below the fold. Mission accomplished…

  49. anjin-san says:

    Another aspect of this story is that McCain has now taken a step that threatens to throw the Presidential election into chaos.

    One of the main things that needs to be done to end the crisis is to RESTORE CONFIDENCE. What are overseas investors saying tonight? First the economic crunch now this. Memories of the 2000 election fiasco are pretty fresh. My guess is the smart money overseas is asking WTF is going on here? Time to look for a safer haven for our money.

    One reason America has the strongest economy in the world is it’s unprecedented political stability makes it a safe environment for investors. Faced with a looming double digit deficit in the polls as the election, “Country First” John McCain has made our country less stable politically….

  50. SavageView says:

    Delicious.

    A site run by a PhD in “political science” and a drop-out from from a fourth-tier program in economics.

    Delicious.

    Remember (X’X)^(-1)X’y

  51. anjin-san says:

    a brazen political stunt that looks like bold leadership

    Actually, it looks like Obama has called his bluff.

    Another bold, stupid move. Palin was a bold move, and they damn near have to keep her in witness protection so she does not run off at the mouth and end McCain’s chances once and for all.

    We need a President who can actually keep a cool head and think things through.

  52. MW says:

    This may or may not be a partisan stunt, but the idea that McCain did it to dodge the debate is laughable, since the topic is McCain’s strength, foreign policy.

    From what I gather, we are in a very dangerous situation where a lot of smart people think some kind of large government intervention is necessary, but a lot of other smart people are horrified at the prospect of this turning into a giant giveaway. This seems to call for some kind of compromise involving more oversight then the current plan.

    That’s why I have to give McCain some credit for this move – regardless of whether he needs to personally be in Washington, I’m glad that he appears to have tied his own political fate to such a compromise.

  53. rodney dill says:

    Obama sure got tongue tied trying to explain that a President may have to do more than one thing at a time. I guess Obama can multi-task, as long as one of the tasks isn’t his actual job. He looked very uncomfortable in front of the camera trying to defend his poor position on this.

    The war hero goes to work, the politician continues to pontificate.

    John McCain might as well have quoted Yoda and said, “Do, or do not, there is no talk.”

    McCain – 1
    Obama – (less than zero)

  54. davod says:

    “Actually, it looks like Obama has called his bluff.”

    What – the Call me if you need me response to the problem. Maybe that’s why Reid called on McCain to return to be part of the process and not Obama.

  55. Rick Almeida says:

    And Obama hasn’t cast one in, what, 2 years? So your point is?

    From FOX News: “Neither McCain nor Obama has spent much time on Capitol Hill in recent months. The last vote McCain took was in April. Obama last voted in July.”

    Yeah, Obama hasn’t cast a vote in the Senate since 2006. Can we get smarter trolls, please?

    My point is, for the very slow among us, that the negotiations which have been going on since last week don’t really need Obama or McCain to help them along.

  56. Michael says:

    This may or may not be a partisan stunt, but the idea that McCain did it to dodge the debate is laughable, since the topic is McCain’s strength, foreign policy.

    It was going to be foreign policy, but now it’s supposed to be focused on economic issues, which is admittedly not McCain’s strength.

  57. Michael says:

    Can we get smarter trolls, please?

    Smart trolls are ineffective trolls. However, if you can get enough stupid (or malicious) people repeating the same lies often enough and loud enough, some otherwise smart people will start believing them.

  58. Michael says:

    Obama sure got tongue tied trying to explain that a President may have to do more than one thing at a time. I guess Obama can multi-task, as long as one of the tasks isn’t his actual job. He looked very uncomfortable in front of the camera trying to defend his poor position on this.

    Hmm, let me parse that out. Because Obama couldn’t articulately explain the multi-tasking requirement of the President, he’s incapable of fulfilling the requirements of the President? I must be missing something, because of being articulate is a requirement for the job….

  59. Bithead says:

    Just curious, Rick; I really don’t know the answer to this.
    On that occasion you cite, did he vote something other than ‘present’?

  60. sam says:

    Here ya go, Bit:

    U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress – 2nd Session as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

    Vote Summary
    Question: On Passage of the Bill (H.R. 6304 )
    Vote Number: 168 Vote Date: July 9, 2008, 02:47 PM
    Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
    Measure Number: H.R. 6304 (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 )
    Measure Title: A bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to establish a procedure for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence, and for other purposes.
    Vote Counts:
    YEAs 69
    NAYs 28
    Not Voting 3

    Obama (D-IL), Yea
    McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting

    [Source]

    This should warm your heart: The bill authorized warantless wire-tapping in cases of national security. I note that McCain wasn’t there.

  61. anjin-san says:

    Maybe that’s why Reid called on McCain to return to be part of the process and not Obama.

    Hmm, that must have happened in some alternate universe…

    Actually, this is what Reid said (boils down to “Thanks John, but no thanks”):

    This is a critical time for our country. While I appreciate that both candidates have signaled their willingness to help, Congress and the Administration have a process in place to reach a solution to this unprecedented financial crisis.

    I understand that the candidates are putting together a joint statement at Senator Obama’s suggestion. But it would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy. If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.

    If there were ever a time for both candidates to hold a debate before the American people about this serious challenge, it is now.

  62. Wayne says:

    Sam
    “If Letterman didn’t know about the suspension, then the guy’s a freaking psychic”

    The Late Show with David Letterman is tape at 4:30 p.m.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Show_with_David_Letterman
    It was all over the news and on the Drudge report long before then.

  63. Wayne says:

    Anjin
    The debate Friday is supposed to be on foreign policy and national security. There is no reason why that can’t be put off for a few days.

  64. anjin-san says:

    There is no reason why that can’t be put off for a few days.

    Yea, and there is no reason it cannot go on as scheduled, unless you happen to be tanking in the polls and in need of a good photo op.

    We are pretty close to a deal this morning. Let the guys who are actually doing to work finish it up and leave political grandstanding out of a volatile situation…

    (let us remember that McCain had planned to use a devastated New Orleans as a backdrop for his acceptance speech, but there was not enough destruction to make for good political theater and he had to change his plans)

  65. Michael says:

    The debate Friday is supposed to be on foreign policy and national security. There is no reason why that can’t be put off for a few days.

    I haven’t seen it on the web, but NPR this morning was reporting that the topic of the debate had been changed to the economy.

    If we don’t have a bailout bill approved by then, it would be a great opportunity for the candidates to explain the available options to the American people, declare which option(s) they favor, and make their case for why it’s better. The current President already did that last night, but it’s just as relevant (or more so) to know what the future President thinks about it.

    Besides, what does canceling or delaying having the debate accomplish?

  66. Wayne says:

    Any bet on them changing it from foreign policy and national security to the economy? My bet is they will stay with the format but will throw in a small timeframe for the bailout.

    It should be obvious that delaying the debate would allow one or both candidates to give their full attention on the bailout legislation.

    This isn’t a big deal for a candidate that doesn’t do any of the work himself but just votes how his advisors tell him and doesn’t get involved in the details. Not to mention if he is the one going around convincing others to vote for or against the bill. All of which takes time. Now for a candidate who does all those things could benefit from a delay.

  67. rodney dill says:

    Here’s what Harry Reid said, before Obama’s handlers got to him and made him flip flop on the need for John McCain’s Leadership.
    (Reid speaks at the end of the the short video)

  68. Wayne says:

    Dude
    Get a clue. McCain suspending his campaign means he personally won’t be out actively campaigning. It doesn’t mean all his campaign staff and organization close up shop and go home. When Obama suspend his campaign on 911 or took a break to go to Hawaii, his staff and organization still continue to work.

  69. Fredw says:

    This is clearly a purely political stunt. There is not likely to be any blowback, however, because the Democrats are dumb enough to play along. If Obama participates in the photo op today it may well cost him the election. This treasury plan is BAD and by playing along Obama loses the moral high ground on the issue, and possibly on the whole issue of the economy. This was the Democrats election to lose, and it looks like they took that to mean that losing was the objecitve. Net result, McCain wins for doing this.

  70. Grewgills says:

    rodney,
    The video you link has Reid saying that he needs McCain to communicate where he stands on the proposed bill, not that he needs McCain to come in and try to hammer out details. McCain simply does not have the economic knowledge to effectively participate. He can send surrogates with economic knowledge and he can cheer lead for a bill he likes, but that is about all he can effectively do and he can do that from anywhere.
    This is a purely political stunt and has little or nothing to do with actually solving the financial problem. The more you and others pretend otherwise the better it may work for your candidate so I don’t expect you or any of McCain’s other surrogates to stop anytime soon.

  71. rodney dill says:

    No Grewgills it wasn’t an engraved invitation, the man is an asshole after all. But, in his own way Reid did demand that McCain do something. McCain decided on doing the right thing. Reid asking for McCain to state his position and for the Republican leadership to get votes for this measure is also hardly the democrat version of ‘Thank, but no Thanks’ as some of the trolls have been trying to advocate, but real leadership is not going to take its direction from Reid. Also, Reid only reversed his decision later. This only has to do with solving the financial problem and is not a political stunt, and as it shows the massive flaws in Obama, I wouldn;t expect it to stop any time soon either.

  72. Grewgills says:

    Rodney,

    But, in his own way Reid did demand that McCain do something.

    Yes and that something was to make his official position known. McCain would be able to effectively rally Republicans to derail a bill or to help garner enough Republican support to get a bill with at least the appearance of bipartisanship. A bill of this magnitude needs to appear bipartisan or it will not pass, so his position needs to be known (as does Obama’s).

    McCain adds nothing else of value to the negotiations in process. By his own admission he knows very little about the economy. The only productive thing he can do is cheerlead for what he thinks is the best bill* and he doesn’t need to be in DC for that. The circus of presidential politics McCain and Obama inevitably bring wherever they go will not help to bring negotiations to a swifter or better resolution. Why can’t you just admit that this is political theater rather than real nuts and bolts problem solving?

    * I am not so certain that would be so productive.

  73. rodney dill says:

    not that he needs McCain to come in and try to hammer out details.

    …and I didn’t state that the video said that either.

    Yes and that something was to make his official position known. McCain would be able to effectively rally Republicans to derail a bill or to help garner enough Republican support to get a bill with at least the appearance of bipartisanship.

    and he did say that he wanted the Republican leadership (which would include McCain) to support it and get the votes.

    I also said the McCain ‘chose’ the right thing to do, not that he was looking to take direction from Reid.

  74. Grewgills says:

    …and I didn’t state that the video said that either.

    but you used it as justification for McCain to come to the meetings. If all Reid was asking for was McCain’s position/opinion, then this video does not contradict his later request for McCain and Obama not to make a showy appearance and inject presidential politics into the negotiations.

    I also said the McCain ‘chose’ the right thing to do…

    It looks to me that what he chose to do was not at all constructive to the process. He did not add anything constructive to the negotiations yesterday. He offered no support for any of the measures of either of the competing plans while giving behind the scenes support to a plan with only a core of far right support. This does not look like the actions of a man who is both competent and trying to make sure a compromise plan is agreed to quickly (his stated goal).
    It does look like is that whatever plan emerges will be unpopular even if deemed necessary and McCain appears more concerned about his campaign than his stated mission in DC.

  75. rodney dill says:

    but you used it as justification for McCain to come to the meetings. If all Reid was asking for was McCain’s position/opinion,

    Actually I don’t think it was necessary to justify
    McCain’s attendance with an invite. I used the video to respond to someone’s elses assertion that Reid only asked McCain and Obama to stay away. That was Reid’s second communication, not his only one.

    It looks to me that what he chose to do was not at all constructive to the process.

    Depends on whose process you mean, and what McCain’s point was in becoming involved. If he intended to sink the original proposal, or to raise up the GOP proposal, then its possible he somewhat succeeded.

    As to whether his and Obama’s involvement is valued added still remains to be seen. From the rest of the posts at OTB, I can’t don’t get a real good impression of whether the bail-out was really needed or not.