John McCain announced this afternoon he’s suspending his campaign to head back to Washington to focus on the economic crisis. This, of course,comes in the wake McCain dropping the early part of the Republican National Convention in order to focus attention on Hurricane Gustav, which was nowhere near as devastating as Hurricane Ike, through which, for the record, the McCain campaign went on without missing a beat.
Is this trend of canceling things to “focus” actual work? Or a political ploy. What’s your opinion?
I’ll be updating the story here as we go:
3:11 p.m. Statement of the University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi is going forward with the preparation for the debate. We are ready to host the debate, and we expect the debate to occur as planned. At present, the University has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate. We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled. We will keep you posted as information becomes available.
3:37 p.m. Here’s the full statement on the McCain Web site, including this:
Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.
3:46 p.m. Reactions:
“The longest Hail Mary pass in the history of football…or Marys.”
– Rep. Barney Frank
“Brilliant positioning. Senator McCain now looks presidential by putting politics aside during this major financial crisis. Suspending the campaign really plays to his “Country First” theme and allows him to project big picture thinking.”
– Ron Bonjean, Republican strategist (via Politico)
“McCain’s gambit puts Obama in a tough place. Agree with McCain’s call to suspend the campaign and Obama looks like a follower, not a leader. Reject the move and Obama runs the risk of losing the high ground on post-partisanship and the need to change the way Washington does business.”
– Chris Cillizza, Washington Post blogger
4:40 p.m. – Is there a consensus in America on the bailout. Judging by the two polls on News Cut this week, people — by wide margins don’t want a bailout for the financial industry and don’t want a bailout for homeowners. There is a wide split in most polls on the bailout issue. When people are not only saying “no,” but “hell, no,” how do you reach consensus with people who are saying “yes”?