McCain Suspending Campaign To Work On Economy (updated)

He’s asked Obama for a delay in the Friday debate (I would guess Obama will agree since the subject isn’t his forte. Additionally refusing the request wouldn’t do any good and McCain would make political hay with it) and is suspending his campaign tomorrow and returning to Washington. He’s calling on Obama to join him there.

Of course the cynic in me wonders about the politics of doing this (I would assume most would agree it is a good political move and certainly one that resonates with his “Country First” slogan, not to mention it demonstrates leadership).

Now we need to settle back and watch for the Obama reaction.

Will it be “bi-partisan” and conciliatory, agreeing that the economy should take precedence? Or will it come out blasting McCain for trying to politicize the financial woes facing the country?

UPDATE: Well apparently Obama plans on voting “present” on the economy:

“I believe that we should continue to have the debate,” Obama said. “It’s my belief that this is exact time when the American people need to hear form the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsibly for dealing with this mess and I think that it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.”

Obama said that unlike McCain, he will not suspend ads, or campaign events scheduled between now and Friday’s debate.

“I think it’s very important that the American people see the people who potentially could be in charge of this problem within the next couple of months and so my attitude is that we need to be focused on solving the problems, as I have been,” Obama said. “It’s also important that we communicate where we need to go in getting us out of the situation.”

Obama said he will stay in Florida for the time being and will not return to Washington unless asked by Congressional leadership.

“I’ve told the leadership in congress is that if I can be helpful then I am prepared to be anywhere at anytime,” he said.

Or said another way – “let’s talk this thing to death.”

Of course I can understand why Obama wants to “continue to have the debate.” It’s about foreign policy and he can now claim that McCain had his chance and didn’t show up. It may end up being mildly embarrassing for Obama to do so, but it is also an excuse for Obama to refuse any future foreign policy debate.

However, Obama standing alone on a stage Friday night could end up looking like Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

UPDATE II: Obama whines:

Obama repeatedly stressed at his news conference that he called McCain first to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible.

He said McCain called back several hours later, as Obama was leaving a rally in Florida, and agreed to the idea of a statement but also said he wanted to postpone the debate and hold joint meetings in Washington.

Obama said he suggested they first issue a joint statement showing bipartisanship.

“When I got back to the hotel, he had gone on television to announce what he was going to do,” Obama aid.

Oh, gosh .. you mean he opted for action vs. “speech” and took the initiative. How disappointing.

[BTW, this isn’t about my supporting or not supporting what they’re doing in Congress – it’s about the politics of this move by McCain – Barry is not coming off well so far.]

Meanwhile Harry Reid, Mr. “We don’t know what to do”, told McCain not to bother coming back, they had the situation well in hand.

Uh huh.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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