25 September 2008

On the McCain Campaign's Suspension

Various notes here.

No complaints here about Senator McCain politicizing the economic crisis--that's what politicians do: they use current events to propel their candidacy. However, there's a real concern that any grandstanding in DC can disrupt the current negotiations on the bailout, which, apparently, are nearly complete. Is it possible that the appearance of McCain and Obama on Capitol Hill can do anything other than inject presidential politics into the bailout negotiations? Of course not.

There's a possibility that many will view McCain's campaign suspension and call to postpone the first debate as a cynical ploy, especially considering the McCain capmaign has suggested that the Vice Presidential debate be postponed as well. From Politico:
A McCain aide told Politico Wednesday night that the 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 vice presidential debate, currently scheduled for October 2 in St. Louis.

Under this scenario, the vice presidential debate would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Miss., where the first presidential debate is currently slated to be held.
Some wag on the telly last night wondered out loud if this was a way to push the VP debate off the schedule altogether. Sorry I don't have a name for you, but chances are that I'll revise this later with the anonymous pundit's name (after I take some time to search).

A bigger problem might be the perception that John McCain reacts badly in a crisis; that is, he's apt to make kneejerk decisions, and he's prone to acting "reckless[ly]" and "impetuous[ly]." These were George Will's points of contention the other day. To that end, here are Will's conclusions again, in which he contrasts Obama's calm stability with McCain's impulsiveness:

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

I wonder what Will thinks of the latest McCain action.

Aside: Part of McCain's suspension plan included pulling all of his campaign ads, but, at this point, the ads remain up and running.

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