26 September 2008

John McCain Will Debate Tonight

He has to.

First: the Presidential Debate Commission has declined to postpone Senator McCain’s request for postponement.

Second: all polling indicates that the American public (by huge margins) wants the debate to continue as scheduled.

Third: the alternate plan can only harm the Senator: if he fails to how at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, the event could become a Barack Obama Town Hall meeting: Jim Lehrer will field audience questions for Senator Obama. An Obama Town Hall meeting with a television audience of 13,000,000 plus and top of the weekend news cycle?

Finally, he needs to look presidential, and this includes addressing the American people's concerns. As Mike Huckabee says,

the Arizona senator should not have put his campaign on hold to deal with the financial crisis on Wall Street. He said a president must be prepared to “deal with the unexpected.”

“You can’t just say, ‘World stop for a moment. I’m going to cancel everything,”‘ Huckabee said.

Indeed. Additionally, Governor Huckabee, a John McCain supporter, argues that the Senator "made a 'huge mistake' by even discussing canceling the presidential debate with Sen. Barack Obama."

Depending on how things go today on Capitol Hill, this could be an epic backfire for Senator McCain. So far this morning, he’s been active on the Hill: the Senator “met briefly Friday morning with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before heading to the office of House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio” (AP).

Will folks reach an agreement by 9:00 tonight? It’s looking grim. And it's looking like McCain might have lost this hand.

Update: It's just broken that John McCain will appear at tonight’s debate: “late Friday morning, [Senator McCain’s] campaign said the GOP nominee was heading to the debate venue, the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford” (CNN).

As the bailout remains unsettled, McCain faces a fresh quandry: does he return to Capitol Hill to continue helping to hammer out the deal (the ostensible reason for his campaign suspension and the call to postpone the debate), or does he go back on the campaign trail?

Regardless, now that both McCain and Obama are away from DC, Congress might actually be able to get something done.

No comments: