McCain “Suspends” Campaign.

Are you effing kidding me with this?!*

McCain has just announced that he will be suspending his campaign so he can pitch in with the financial crisis.

He also wants to put off Friday’s debate.

Ben “In The Tank” Smith at Politico:

Both candidates have been marginal players; McCain, though, seems to have the potential to make himself a major one, and his move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn’t like the way this campaign is going.

But in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that’s changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.

Questions which come to mind: Does he also want to put off the election? Aren’t there 98 other senators who can go to work handling the financial crisis? Also, what would happen if Obama pulled the same trick?

Update from ABC News:

Obama supporter and chief debate negotiator Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., told MSNBC that “we can handle both,” when asked about his reaction to McCain’s call to postpone the first debate because of the administration’s bailout plan.

He believes they are making good progress on Capitol Hill on the bailout and his initial reaction is that the work on the Hill should not preclude the debate from taking place.

An Obama campaign official told ABC News the Democratic presidential candidate called McCain this morning to suggest a joint statement of principles.

McCain called back this afternoon and suggested returning to Washington.

Obama is willing to return to Washington “if it would be helpful.” But reiterated Obama intends to debate on Friday.

Update: more questions.

What, exactly, can McCain accomplish in Washington, considering he isn’t on any relevant committees?

Maybe McCain’s need to be in Washington wouldn’t be so dire if he hadn’t missed more votes than any other senator?  (64.1 percent, to be exact.  To be fair: Obama has missed 45.9 percent.)

Is there any way this won’t be spun as something that’s “good for McCain?”

*I’m sorry. Maybe I’m overreacting?

25 thoughts on “McCain “Suspends” Campaign.

  1. glory September 24, 2008 at 3:21 pm Reply

    You are NOT overreacting. McCain is shamelessly and transparently pandering again. He’s also probably not prepared to run talking points both for this economic situation and for the debate, so this kills two birds with one stone. And he’s going to get cool points for this from some. Not me, but some others.

  2. robynj September 24, 2008 at 3:36 pm Reply

    Ha. Pretty shrewd move. Transparent, but shrewd.

  3. Julian September 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Ugh just saw this screamed on drudgereport. I think the intention at this point is to make people believe they are insane when they read the news. Eventually our heads will explode or we’ll just be too exhausted to vote.

  4. LH September 24, 2008 at 3:53 pm Reply

    In addition to pandering, McCain knew Obama was gonna get in that ass on Friday.

    The economy didn’t just head south and President Bush already convened a “leadership meeting” last weekend.

  5. rakia September 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm Reply

    You are definitely not overreacting.

    One of my co-workers reminded me of another aging politician, Jim Bunning, who back in 2004 jumped through hoops to avoid a live, televised debate in front of an audience. Could McCain be frailer than we’ve all imagined health-wise? Makes me say hmmmm…

    (see link for Jim Bunning story)

  6. e. September 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm Reply

    McCain needs to bite the bullet and debate on Friday. And he also needs to let Palin do some interviews. Yes, they are painful to watch but for real, how you gonna come out your face at the RNC and never be heard from again til election. whomp whomp. LH is right, Obama will hand McCain’s ass to him, he might as well get it over with now.

    you are totally not overreacting.

  7. Shawn L. September 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm Reply

    Not only does McCain look like he’s ducking the debate, now he opens the door for an Obama counterproposal: “Since it’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind, let’s change the topic of Friday’s debate to economic policy.”

  8. scott September 24, 2008 at 8:31 pm Reply

    I thought that a senator’s first priority was this country’s business? I guess that being at a debate is a good excuse for not having to vote and make you position on the bailout known.

  9. G.D. September 24, 2008 at 9:08 pm Reply

    scott: c’mon, fam. do better. As shani pointed out, McCain’s missed a ton of votes this year — 60 percent.

    This completely political. The only thing that changed between today and Monday were his poll numbers. He does what he tends to do, which is overreact.

    But this has the benefit of doing a bunch of stuff. It puts him at the top of the news cycle, it takes Palin’s latest awful showing off the pages, he gets to pretend that he’s doing The Business of The Country (a narrative that you’re lapping up, btw).

  10. shani-o September 25, 2008 at 6:40 am Reply

    Scott, he could vote and then fly to Ole Miss for the debate.

  11. varneer September 25, 2008 at 8:45 am Reply

    Overreacting? NO. This is a cynical move that so’s pitiful I can’t even stay mad.

  12. varneer September 25, 2008 at 8:45 am Reply

    Excuse me… “that’s so pitiful”

  13. scott September 25, 2008 at 9:11 am Reply


    So the debate is more important than fixing this country’s economy? One of these guys is going to be Pres and should be familiar with this legislation. Even Bill Clinton defended Sen. John McCain’s request to delay the first presidential debate, saying McCain did it in “good faith”. Besides, most debates contain so little substance as to be meaningless.

  14. shani-o September 25, 2008 at 9:19 am Reply

    Scott, maybe you can answer my question: what is he going to do, exactly? He’s admitted he’s less than familiar with economics, and more importantly, he’s not on the finance or banking committees. The majority leader has said it wouldn’t be helpful for either McCain or Obama to show up and politicize this issue.

    I ask you, or anyone else who thinks this is a sensible idea, because McCain has given zero specifics:

    What is John McCain going to accomplish by going to Washington? How will his presence in the Senate for the first time since April be helpful?

  15. shani-o September 25, 2008 at 9:21 am Reply

    Also, Bill Clinton’s word means nothing. He’s been undermining Obama since the convention.

  16. geo September 25, 2008 at 9:34 am Reply


    shouldn’t a president be able to multi-task?
    if he was genuine about putting American first, then would (at the very least) ask to move the debate to DC. therefore, he would be able to debate and vote if needed. however, this is just another example of his inability to make an appropriate judgment and decision. he continues to illustrate his lack of veneration and care for this country. his main concern is to win the presidency at whatever cost to the American people.

  17. scott September 25, 2008 at 10:57 am Reply


    I suppose McCain is going to be doing the same thing that all the other senators are doing in D.C., namely their job. By your logic, only the senators that sit on the banking or finance committees should be there? So you are accusing Clinton of saying something favorable about McCain in order to undermine Obama? That’s a bit Machiavellian isn’t it?


    Yes the pres should be able to mutli-task, just as everyone else should be able to. That doesn’t mean it is a good idea, just try driving and chatting on you cell phone. Seriously though, some issues are important enough that they should get the focus of your attention. I tend to think the US economy is one of those issues but I could be wrong.

  18. shani-o September 25, 2008 at 11:17 am Reply

    Scott: I generally think all senators should be in D.C. all the time, doing their job. However, we have two senators who are running for a much larger position with far-reaching implications. Neither of these senators are directly involved with finance or banking regulation. Other than their votes, they don’t have anything to bring to the table.

    We’ll have a new president in just a few months who will have to deal with the fallout from this summer, plus a host of other issues. We only have 40 days to decide who we’re going to pick. I don’t see why two senators who aren’t directly involved with the financial crisis should waste time where they simply aren’t needed.

    Why can’t he vote and then fly to Mississippi to debate?

  19. scott September 25, 2008 at 11:57 am Reply

    Given that either Obama or McCain is going to preside over the clean up of this mess I would like them both to be well acquainted with the deal and the legislation that comes out of the deal, though they themselves are not directly involved. I see this legislation as too important to rush into and then just show up and vote on.

  20. terenceanthony September 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm Reply

    I bet McCain is using this to try and postpone if not all-out cancel the VP debates after seeing Palin’s blockheaded responses to Katie Couric. Among their other problems, the McCain camp has just figured out she’s nowhere near ready for center stage.

  21. shani-o September 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm Reply

    Scott, this argument isn’t going anywhere. I keep trying to respond in a thoughtful manner, but you refuse to consider the possibility that McCain is doing this for political purposes, despite the fact that even conservatives call it a “smart move.”

    I still haven’t gotten an answer to my question about what it is McCain or Obama could actually, physically DO to make a difference in the proposal or how they can assist the negotiators who have been working on it. If it’s about understanding it, well, McCain didn’t even bother to read the three page proposal that was circulating, as of this morning.

  22. scott September 25, 2008 at 4:49 pm Reply


    I’m willing to consider this action is just politics on McCain’s part, after all he is a politician and that is what they do. However, as I tell me my wife, my ESP isn’t working so I can’t divine her thoughts or intentions just as I can’t those of McCain.

    As I said before, one of these two will be pres and I think they both should be there and have more than a passing familiarity with the deal and the bill. In my opinion, sometimes you need to be physically present to really understand the situation in its entirety instead of receiving second hand reports. This is my honest belief. Not to mention, I think being a senator is their job and this clean up is more important than their respective campaigns or one debate. Besides, how do you know that he can’t have some effect or make some difference by being present?

  23. LH September 25, 2008 at 5:24 pm Reply

    scott, you wrote: “I think [McCain and Obama] should be there and have more than a passing familiarity with the deal and the bill.”

    That sounds great, but what would you say about this?

  24. shani-o September 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm Reply

    McCain hasn’t really suspended his campaign. He’s still running ads, his surrogates are still criticizing Obama on television, his campaign offices around the country haven’t closed, and tonight, he’s giving interviews with three different networks.

    The only things he’s suspended are the debate and actually working on the deal himself.

  25. scott September 25, 2008 at 7:57 pm Reply


    It sounds like Barney Frank is trying to lay any failure of the talks at McCain’s feet.

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