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The race for the White House has been thrown into turmoil by the global financial meltdown when John McCain said last night he was suspending his campaign and returning to Washington to help forge a deal on a financial rescue plan by the weekend. It was a startling, high-risk gambit aimed at making his rival, Barack Obama, look flat-footed. Mr McCain also asked for a postponement of the first presidential debate, which was scheduled for tomorrow evening. It could backfire on him, however, if voters conclude he is afraid of the debate in the middle of an economic crisis. read more…

QUESTION: Will McCain attend Friday's debate? If not, will it help him or help Obama in the campaign?

Comments

( Comment )
wyliekat wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Alright, I'll be the first to bite. Let me say this - do we really need an "international community" for the American elections? You'd think, with the vast globalization and therefore, consumption of American media would be enough.

Or is this "international" in the sense that it's of interest only to Americans living abroad? Because if it's that, I think I might be even more disappointed.
wyliekat wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
And why do I suddenly feel as though I've been herded into a comment farm? How much reproduction of comments are you anticipating?
dignam wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
You call "Time Out"; we say "Game Over."
I think this question is a little silly, because its predictive window will last for exactly 24 hours longer -- and I think very few people around the country are really buying McCain's "suspension" -- number one, because his ads are still playing on markets throughout the country, number two because he is admittedly inept in economics, and number three because there's a wide agreement that a #2 should step in if #1 can't make it, and McCain's #2 is incapable of answering a policy question with more than stock-in-trade Republican-friendly soundbites. Here's what I wrote earlier:

The Wall Street Journal, for all its faults, thankfully hasn't abandoned all reasonable discourse. Today it argues persuasively that John McCain shouldn't be "suspending his campaign" and postponing the debate. Critics of the Wall Street Journal might claim its opinionating a bit too prolix; in our Twittering age we might more effectively respond to McCain's weird maneuvers with

What-EHVarrrrrrrr!

or, even better:

PWNED!

The New York Post knows the score; its front page blasts in skyscraper letters:

DOUBLE DARE
McCain and Obama play electoral chicken on debate

What saddens us, across the electoral spectrum from the crumbling towers of Wall Street and the populist pages of the Post to the rest of that liberal, mealy-mouthed MSM, is the consolidated impression we've now received from the McCain camp that the entire hullabaloo of a Presidential election is nothing but a game.

Witness the Republican strategy from the moment the Bushy hacks, Schmidt and Davis, stepped on to the field in July: the political equivalent of the pick-and-roll. In basketball, a player stops short to block his opponent's movement (the "pick" or "screen") while a teammate runs across the opened space to accept a third teammate's pass (the "roll"). Schmidt and Davis, who are far slicker than Willy in their ball-handling, co-opted the media (the refs, or at least they ought to be) to be both the picker and the passer. First they set up a pick – a blatantly false attack ad or a lipsticky pig – which occupies the media, allowing them to give a pass on McCain for his own incoherent wafflings.

Well, it's the second half, ladies and gentlemen, and the skies have darkened above this basketball court, and McCain's pick-and-roll is failing. So Red Team calls for a TO, because the rain is falling, the lightning is flashing, and there's a big fat sinkhole in the middle of the court that threatens to swallow the contending teams, the stadium crowds, and the stadium itself. "Let's collect donations from the crowd," the NBA President suggests (forgetting that the crowd has already paid exorbitant prices just to see the game in the first place: ticket fees that went toward the construction of the luxury skyboxes rather than tend to the maintenance of the court). "We'll patch up the court so that a ball can bounce on it for the rest of the game."

Is this analogy becoming increasingly flimsy? Yes? That's because this election isn't a game. Choosing our government isn't the national pastime. (That's why we have baseball: go Cubs! and let Armageddon begin. I wonder if they'll curse themselves, or bless themselves, by letting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse into the stands.)

If McCain were an economic wizard (he's confessed he's not), if McCain had taken part in the process thus far (Sen. Schumer says he has not), if McCain had floated remedies for this mess (rather than advocated laws implicated in the cause of the mess), if McCain's running mate wasn't trying to postpone her debate as well (which she is, in another jawdropping development), then McCain's calls to pull the entire election over to the sidelines would carry more water.

A presidential debate isn't a game, it isn't showboating – or it shouldn't be – and frankly, now that the entirety of Red Team is shown to be gaming the system, it is time to stop pretending that "you're really serious about being serious now, really really serious; this election was just a game before but now things are really serious" – no, Senator McCain, it's been deadly serious all along. You just don't get it.
bastblack wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think McCain will be at the debate.

Why? Because if he doesn't attend, the debate will go live without him.

What is happening in Wall Street should in no way interrupt the process of electing the next president.

Why do I say that?

Because of recent history. After 9/11, the city of New York went ahead with it's election of the next mayor. Terrorists could not rob the city of it's governing process. And so too, shall the Credit Crunch Crisis fail to subvert the election process.

If McCain does not attend the debate, he will look unprepared to be the next Commander in Chief, and his ability to lead during a crisis will also be questionable.

(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 26th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
040412 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)
response
I see it completely opposite. I think McCain trying to skip the debate is showing that he cannot multi task and if he can't do it now, he certainly should not be the head of the free world. Obama and McCain are just two senators, they aren't superheros and if they were so brilliant, the crisis now should have been avoided. Congress doesn't usually work like a well oiled machine, it is going to take some time to get the details worked out. The DEVIL is in the details. We need to know how each candidate is going to handle the economic situation. That is going to be more important than other current issue regardless of who is elected president.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 26th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
040412 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
Re: response
First off, neither candiate is not president yet, so what they do during their compaign doesn't necessarily equate to who they will run this country. Campaigns these days are all a big game, it's about who can play the game better regardless of who is a stronger candidate.

I can understand your argument, but this how our political system works, people trying to run for office while holding a current job is part of the deal and so is campaigning. This has occurred for more than a century, so to assume that just now Obama isn't doing his job now seems a bit of a stretch. There are a lot of things congress men and woman should do, but again it's a game you play once elected. You also seem to assume that the president has this power to do miracles, he/she doesn't make the laws. If this was the case, Bush would have simply told Bernanke and Paulson and just do it. The president's job is to enforce the laws.

When there is a critical vote in congress and it comes down to one senator, that person will make arrangements to cast the vote. I think people are assuming way too much from congress. There are many committees that work through the details of various bills. In this case, Barack isn't on the finance committee that will undoubtedly go through the details of the bill. If every congressman or woman weighed in on every piece of legislation, nothing would ever get done. (i will try not to laugh)

Bush drops this bombshell on us and Congress asking for $700 billion which based on my numbers amounts to $2333 for every man/woman/child in the United States and asks everyone to drop what they doing immediately and sign off on the deal? This is sheer madness. It's typical of his administration. The country will carry on with our without the bailouts. If it takes time to iron out the details, so be it. Having GW try to dictate what needs to done now is laughable. He has been wrong before so why is he all of sudden in the right now. Him try to dictate sounds a lot like DICTATORSHIP.

Unfortunately, the media exposure and face time has become critical in the past couple of elections. Making time to give speeches, travel the country, talk to people is a necessary evil, but is has become part of the process.

They can pass one law for me, the one that doesn't penalize me for cashing in my 401k early so I can put in a SAFE place while the markets work themselves out.
meggins wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
Problem being, Sen. Obama was at the very same meeting that Sen. McCain had to "suspend" his campaign to attend.

I'm not sure either of them absolutely needed to be there, but it was possible to be there and not make a big hooptedoo about it.
kiwi_stories wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 09:45 am (UTC)
There is a bi-partisan committee working on the issue- a committee that actually has some power. McCain 'canceling' his campaign is a ploy. Remember he has done the same thing 4 other times in the past, including the first day of the GOP convention due to hurricane Gustav. It was a great way to feign concern about the hurricane while also making sure that Bush and Cheney wouldn't be able to address the convention. I mean- who wants those wildly incompetent, arrogant people reminding everyone what Republicans have been doing the last 8 years?
hotpossum wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
I believe he will be there at the last minute...sort of how he called Letterman at the last minute yesterday to cancel his appearance on his show :/ (hey, he's the last "minute man" of flip flop!)

If he doesn't show (and I lived in Mississippi for many years and know the mind set) he WILL LOSE VOTES. They (Mississippians), being staunch Republicans may not necessarily vote for Obama, but they definitely will not vote for McCain. It does not really help Obama. That's the way I see it.
040412 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
just a ploy
As I already commented, McCain and Obama are not superheros. One man or woman cannot simply wave a wand and fix the current mortgage crisis. McCain is trying to avoid the debate because he has admitted to not being savvy on economics. Regardless of motive, I don't think the American public is going to buy it this time. I believe this will hurt his campaign.

On the other hand, Obama has to play this very carefully too. This crisis proves that the president has limited powers. It really has become a catch-22, there is no right answer at this point. There are several paths to choose from and you hope someone smarter than most of us has the right path and congress agrees to follow. $700 billion dollars is a lot of money and this detail may be the lynchpin that keeps them in office or send them packing.

Maybe McCain thinks that being a maverick is the same as being a gambler. Not matter how good a gambler you are, you have to loose some of the time.
agilesreader wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
Please. That was purely presidential McCain politics. He did not have a damn thing to do with the negotiations. He is such a political weasal.
emmyjag wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
McCain has not voted since April, and has missed more votes than a guy out with a stroke. He is not on the committee negotiating the bailout, so what possible use could he be? Even if he were, why can't he work most of the day, fly out to Mississippi in the evening for a few hours, and then get back to work?

America is fighting two wars: One in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan. If McCain can't negotiate and debate at the same time, how is he planning on juggling two other, slightly more important, things?
fraterseraphino wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
It's a gamble.
It's a gamble as to if it will help McCain or Obama.

If the House Republicans come back Friday morning having signed onto a modified Paulson deal, and he can go to the debates claiming he helped bring the Republicans in the House to the table on this bailout, he'll look like a hero, and his numbers will go up in the polls.

However, if come Friday evening the House Republicans are divided and haven't signed off on the deal, the Democrats can push the narrative they've started today that McCain hasn't helped things--at which point McCain looks like a looser who played politics with the bailout in order to avoid the debate. And the last Presidential candidate to miss a debate (Carter) lost big.

The worst thing McCain can do is show up to the debate when the House Republicans are miles away from an agreement--makes McCain look like he doesn't know what he's talking about. And I think it would play fairly neutral if McCain showed up when the House Republicans are close--but have not completely signed off--on a deal: he can claim that he is no longer needed, but I suspect people will just grumble and forget about this by mid October.

lather2002 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
In early June, Senator John McCain invited Senator Barack Obama to attend a series of up to 10 ?town hall? style meetings throughout the summer. At the time of the invitation Obama was receptive to the idea of appearing with McCain at the ?town hall? meetings, but in early August, the Obama campaign cited a very busy campaign schedule as to why they would not attend the meetings. To date, the candidates have only agreed to the standard 3 presidential debates and 1 vice presidential debate. My question is simple. Of what is the Obama campaign afraid?
Since Obama?s meteoric rise in popularity, he has long relied on the use of teleprompters to deliver his speeches. He has even taken to using them at campaign rallies, such as in a rodeo ring at the Colorado State Fair this week. Obama is a very gifted speaker when delivering his speeches with the aid of electronic devices, but when he is speaking without their help, he stumbles over his words. Much has been said about McCain and Palin, but both of them are able to think on their feet and deliver speeches and answer questions without outside help.
Perhaps Obama is worried about taking questions from those who have not sworn their allegiance to him. The news media has been very loyal and easy on Obama. They have not asked him any of the tough questions that McCain and Palin have faced. Is Obama worried that he may get asked tough questions from the lowly citizens of the United States? Will they ask about his extremely liberal record in the Illinois state senate and the U.S. Senate? Will they ask him about his 2 economic advisors who were part of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers? Advisors Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson were both CEO?s of Fannie Mae during the time frame of scandal, which directly led to the meltdown we have seen over the last week. In fact, Obama is second on the list of recipients of donations from Fannie Mae. Is Obama afraid to be asked about his nearly $1 trillion increase in government spending? Is he hiding from his plan to increase taxes on all taxpayers by not protecting the Bush tax cuts?
I believe that Obama knows that he is very vulnerable when speaking off the cuff. Without his teleprompter or one of his legions of advisors whispering in his ear, he is completely lost. His confusion was on full display this week when he said he wasn?t sure whether or not insurance giant AIG should be bailed out by the government. McCain said it best by noting that Obama needs to realize that as President you cannot simply vote ?present? on the tough decisions. I believe that the standard debate format is set up to hide the candidate?s true character from the voting public. The ?town halls? allow the citizens to ask the candidates questions without any media bias to either side. Obama is trying to become the next Bill Clinton, but Clinton was able to handle the public?s questions, while Obama is looking to run and hide from their scrutiny.
kiwi_stories wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC)
Why would Obama be stupid enough to let McCain pick the agenda and set the format for town-hall meetings? Remember that yesterday, Obama suggested the two of them put out a joint statement saying they 'agree in principal' about the current financial crisis (not the Keating 5) and McCain ran to the media and put out a statement BY HIMSELF and ALSO used the time to attempt to back out of the debate. The lying weasel can't be trusted. So why should Obama commit to anything McCain comes up with?
rashelleym wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
Sen.McCain apparently made his participation in the debate contingent on Congressional agreement about a "bail-out plan" happening beforehand. His rationale was that the financial crisis is so dire that it justifies suspending "politics as usual." And as late as the end of the meeting Thursday afternoon, his campaign was reiterating that he wouldn't attend (though the latest news seems to be that he will).

I think he'll use any and every excuse to avoid the debate. From what I can see, he apparently stopped bothering to keep current about global developments after about 1990, and he doesn't even bother to claim special interest in economic issues. He's a maverick, and this is what mavericks do: lunge about in unexpected directions without regard to the integrity and well-being of objects and people around them.

I'll be a little surprised if he actually, finally, shows up for the debate. His performance would likely be somewhat disjointed, and could include amazing gaffes, becoming alarmingly angry or losing his place in the conversation entirely. He knows best his own limitations; if there's the barest opportunity to avoid contrasting Wild West bravado with sincere engagement I believe he'll employ it.

If Sen.McCain chooses not to attend, I suppose it will (at this point) help his campaign more than Sen.Obama's. Swing voters who are essentially reasonable people won't have the chance to contrast self-confident parroting of talking points with thoughtful reflection. On the other hand, he's taken his ads off television, too. To my mind it's not impossible to suspect he's just withdrawing from the campaign without telling anyone, leaving everyone to guess at his intent -- which would be entirely in character.
inafoxhole wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:22 am (UTC)
QUESTION: Will McCain attend Friday's debate? If not, will it help him or help Obama in the campaign?
I learned a long time ago not to make predictions... I was usually wrong. McCain has painted himself into a corner here, and I don't think the likelihood that the situation helps him, regardless of what he does, is terribly high. However, if he doesn't show up, I think that will be his biggest mistake yet... and that's saying something.
zhenuwa1618 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
Ooh America dream of fear,
With your hailed election near,
Milk & honey, the American dream,
A ghastly sight! To the rest of us, your so unclean.

3 hour I watched today your shit,
All your banter, but yet not a hint,
Of a single truth, nor vision aired,
Like old mother Hubbard your cupboard is bare.

Your personalities preformed for all,
But policies nope, I did not hear at all,
A deafening chorus of money speaks,
Broke future secured for sure with your soul so bleak.

By me
kwsapphire wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
"you're" - not "your" in this case.

I dislike how my keyboard works as an international one in this community. The first time I tried to type quotes and the at symbol came up, I about spat. WTF.

I agree with your poem though. :)
(no subject) - zhenuwa1618 - Sep. 26th, 2008 11:23 am (UTC) Expand
kwsapphire wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:05 am (UTC)
He had better attend..
To answer the question at hand, I think McCain had better attend the debate. I totally agree that a person should be able to multi-task. I am sure Obama has been discussing the current economic crisis with his advisors and I know he's been standing by the Democrats' demands of compensation to Main Street if this bail-out goes through. Yes, he's still on the campaign trail, but that doesn't mean he isn't also doing his job.

And I must comment: Whenever I see people label the main-stream media as liberal, I have to laugh. And every time I hear people refer to McCain as a maverick, I laugh harder. The comparison is this: We have two shades of purple. One is a lilac color, while the other is more of a periwinkle. People are going on and on about how different the two candidates are, the debates are "two sides" of an issue and everyone says the choices are polar opposites. And yet the two candidates, or the two sides of the issues, are only vastly different if you only look at those two candidates or those two proposed answers to the issue. There’s a whole color spectrum out there and we’re only seeing a very narrow band of it.

Examples: Global warming - we are allowed to debate whether or not it’s really happening, or whether or not it is caused by man. Those are the questions we’re allowed to debate. And there’s a huge camp of people who are determined to do whatever they can to stop global warming.

Hello? The planet’s climate has been changing since before the first amoebas wiggled through the primordial soup. And suddenly humans are going to come along and decide we like the weather just as it is, and we’re going to prevent it from changing? Hubris maybe?

Of course we should try to minimize our impact on the environment. That’s a no-brainer for a sustainable lifestyle. However, the weather is changing and it’s going to continue to change no matter what. Instead of trying to "stop" it we should be trying to figure out exactly what’s going to happen and what we can do to prevent disasters. Which coastlines are going to disappear? Where can we move people who live there? Where will crops be able to grow, and where will they not? How are we going to deal with the inevitable? But no, those questions aren’t being asked, they’re not part of what we’re allowed to debate.

And let’s not forget the Iraq war, and how the "liberal" media caved in and did not effectively challenge the bogus information we were being fed from the Bush administration. You know there are people who still believe that Iraq had something to do with 9/11? Still? Even though the Bush administration has come out and admit that Iraq had nothing to do with it? Ridiculous!

The media is not liberal. Neither is Obama. McCain and Obama are part of the same political corporate machine. Obama is a slightly lighter shade of republicrat than McCain, maybe slightly more towards the middle, but still definitely not to the far left. Look at his stances on the issues, he’s by no means even in the liberal camp. Although it’s become muddy as to what it means to be Republican or Democrat anymore. It used to be that the Democrats were the hawks and the Republicans were for less government involvement. Now both sides are hawks and you’re called an isolationist if you want the U.S. to stop meddling in the affairs of other countries. Obama has even stated that he would continue incursions into Pakistan even without the government’s approval. We are going to violate their sovereignty whether they like it or not. Lovely.
crazy_fuzzy wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
What's the buzz?
I don't understand why so many people do care about the american elections. The result will be the same in any case - the buch of the leaders of this (sorry my bad english) not-so-well-educated people will try once again to bring "peace and democracy" to all other world (with the help of the arms of cause)... How could we count US as a normal country when the most of their inhabitants don't know where the Moscow, Paris and all other big cities are located.... or who Sheakespear was.... etc etc... What can US tell about the drug trade in Afganistan? Ha? They heve no answers.... except "we are americans, we do all we want cause' we've the power".... Don't you think that it's a little bit #$%^%^$#@....
christia_girl wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
I think it will hurt him. people want to hear both sides of the debate, not just Obamas, but that will show maybe mccaine is too old for the job and responsiblitie of being president he can't even make a debate. soooo I think it would go to helping obama if he didn't show.
ladyjennifer89 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
If he is smart he will attend. I really hope he doesn't, maybe they'll replace him with Ralph Nader. XD
bastblack wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
Re: It's a gamble.
Or Ron Paul.

I would really love to hear what Ron Paul thinks about the bailout and the Wall Street crash. If nothing else, RP makes you see things from a new perspective.
henotic_1 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
STATESMANSHIP IN AMERICAN POLITICS RETURNS TO THE STAGE
IN TONIGHT'S FIRST DEBATE BETWEEN THE TWO CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES STATESMANSHIP WILL SURFACE IN THE GREAT AMERICAN TRADITION.

THIS ELECTION IS ONE OF THE GREAT PERFORMANCES OF OUR TIME ON THE WORLD STAGE

FOR ANYONE WITH A SENSE OF HISTORY THIS IS NOT TO BE MISSED!
henotic_1 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
TONIGHT'S PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
DON'T MISS IT! THIS IS THE MOMENT THAT WILL CHANGE WORLD HISTORY FOR THE BETTER AND RETURN A RESPECT FOR STATESMANSHIP TO WASHINGTON DC.
myranda_e wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
point blank: if you have to vote, don't.

mccain missing the debate would be suicide on his part. i mind none.
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