The Campaign Suspension, and the News We’re Missing Because of It
— September 24, 1864: The nation is literally at risk of collapse, mengaged in a large-scale civil war: Yet the campaign for the presidency was “now being prosecuted with the utmost vigor,” as one could read in the New York Times.”
— September 24, 1932: The nation is mired in Depression, coping with it a full time job, “Yet Herbert Hoover prepared to give a large speech in Iowa and Franklin Roosevelt had just given what became a famous address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.”
— September 24, 1944: World War II well under way, with the United States engaged in fierce fighting, “Yet President Roosevelt had just officially launched his campaign for a fourth term, while Thomas Dewey took his turn speaking in San Francisco, challenging Roosevelt’s supremacy.”
I fail to see what about this particular crisis required McCain to drop everything about the campaign. (Except, of course, for his speech tonight at the Clinton Global Initiative. And the Sarah Palin rally this afternoon.) Negotiations over legislation aren’t stalled–they’re moving apace. It’s expected to be done by the end of the weekend. Both McCain and Obama would be wiser to stay out of it so that Presidential politics doesn’t get embroiled into things, but I guess it’s too late for that now.
Now, John McCain’s decision to “suspend his campaign” is sucking up a lot of media oxygen, so here’s a few things you might have missed because of all the media attention of McCain’s move. Things that, you know, might be worth talking about in some sort of forum where both presidential candidates are answering questions:
- Today is the first day of Ted Stevens’ corruption trial.
- The auto industry is being bailed out to the tune of $25 billion. Which depressingly seems like chump change. Apparently the industry was only looking for $6 billion initially, but decided that in light of recent events, that was too small an amount to be taken seriously, so they hiked their request to the highest the law allowed.
- The press-elusive Sarah Palin gave an interview with Katie Couric last night. Her defense of John McCain’s history of regulating the financial industry was a bit, um, lacking.
Couric: I’m just going to ask you one more time – not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.
Palin: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.
- The NIE Assessment of Afghanistan will not be declassified before the election because its contents are apparently “grim”:
Officials say a draft of the classified NIE, representing the key judgments of the US intelligence community’s 17 agencies and departments, is being circulated in Washington and a final “coordination meeting” of the agencies involved, under the direction of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is scheduled in the next few weeks.
According to people who have been briefed, the NIE will paint a “grim” picture of the situation in Afghanistan, seven years after the US invaded in an effort to dismantle the al Qaeda network and its Taliban protectors.
Between bailouts, Afghanistan, corrpution and other things, I don’t see how McCain can justify refusing to debate issues with his opponent. According to an instant poll taken by Survey USA yesterday, Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of not postponing the debate–only 10% of those surveyed thought it was necessary.