What the hell just happened?
This was supposed to be the big week. I’ve been looking forward to this Friday for months. Finally, at long last, John McCain and Barack Obama were going to butt heads in an epic duel of the ideologies before a national audience. Maverick vs. Outsider.
Okay, so they were just having a debate. Please excuse the hyperbole.
The point is, this Friday is to be the first time that our would-be presidents would finally meet and the American people would be able to see who was made of stronger stuff, who had greater mental agility, who’s staff had better prepped them on the answers. Finally, it would just be the two men, alone on a stage, with nothing between them but Jim Lehrer.
Then John McCain went and tried to spoil the festivities by suspending his campaign and trying to postpone the debates.
Well, according to his antagonistic towards the media.
Over Palin, in particular, they are very quick to condemn anything that questions or challenges her viability as a candidate. Case in point, two weeks ago, Carly Fiorina, McCain advisor and ousted CEO of Hewlett Packard condemned the opening season skit on Saturday Night Live which had mocked Palin and Hillary Clinton as sexist.
Of course, such behavior can’t, and doesn’t sit well with the American public and McCain has duly seen his approval ratings plummet.
The media hates it even more. Even the Associated Press has become outwardly contemptuous of the Republican campaign, and Palin especially:
“Less than a week after balking at the Alaska Legislature’s investigation into her alleged abuse of power, Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday indicated she will cooperate with a separate probe run by people she can fire.”
So, with the media against him, and his poll ratings in a free fall, McCain suspends his campaign to work on the economic crisis. This isn’t McCain showing dedication to the Senate. He hasn’t voted on anything since April (Obama last voted in July) and has missed 109 out of the last 110 votes.
Even Congress thinks his presence is useless. Earlier today, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) described McCain’s announcement as “the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys.”
Obama hasn’t accepted McCain’s idea in stride. In fact, he out right rejects it. At the press conference where he refused McCain’s offer, Obama made a prescient point, “This is exactly the time when people need to hear from the candidates…Part of the president’s job is to deal with more than one thing at once. In my mind it’s more important than ever.”
Unsurprisingly, McCain clearly doesn’t agree.