Hmmm. What’s a candidate to do when poll numbers are dropping, and the thing on everyone’s mind is a subject (the economy) you’ve recently admitted you don’t know much about, and you’re about to be asked questions about it in front of an audience of tens of millions of potential voters? Tricky situation.
If you answered “flee the scene”, you’re thinking like John McCain. He has now announced that because of the country’s economic meltdown, he will suspend his campaign, to fly to Washington to work on banking legislation. He wants the first of three presidential debates with Barack Obama, scheduled for this Friday, to be postponed. The decision was spun perfectly by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch:
“This is the John McCain I know,” Hatch said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “He is willing to risk election to do what’s right for the country.”
- McCain really is his “old self”
- He’s acting like he knows about the economy, and
- He’s putting “country first.”
That’s the story. Not bad. A three-fer.
What say you, Senator Obama?
“In my mind, it’s more important than ever that we present ourselves to the American people and describe where we want to take the country and where we want to take the economy.”
“But what about dealing with the economy now? How can you POSsibly think about the economy and the debate at the same time? Isn’t that irresponsible? Why, why do you hate your country Senator Obama???” the McCain campaign would like you to ask.
“It’s going to be part of the president’s job to be able to deal with more than one thing at once,” Obama reminds us.
Game. Set. Match.
Even though Obama has demonstrated incontrovertibly that he is a Democrat with a spine, and came out with the only appropriate reaction to this unprecedented request from McCain, Democrats should not let their guard down. Something still seems fishy. Will McCain somehow, magically, get credited with brokering a compromise that will solve the economic woes of the nation? Will he be painted as the guy in the red cape who rescued us from the big bad bankers who’ve been playing fast and loose with the hard-earned money of the American people? Is this going to be the October surprise? Or will Palin’s friend Pastor Muthee lay hands on the economy, pray for a miracle, and expel the witches that may be responsible for this whole mess?
Obama has called their bluff. What’s the next move in the chess match? We’ll see before Friday.