According to a piece by Nico Pitney in today's Huffington Post (includes CNN video), not only is McCain threatening to pull a no-show at the first of three presidential debates scheduled for Friday, September 26 if no Wall Street bail-out deal is approved by Congress by Friday, but now the Palin/McCain campaign is calling for a postponement of the vice-presidential debates scheduled for next Thursday.
I have a few thoughts:
1) McCain's call to cancel Friday's presidential debate is no doubt a strategic ploy, at least in part, to take the spotlight off of the bad news coming from Wall Street and generate some headlines that show him acting presidential. While this will be regarded as a brilliant move to steal Obama's thunder by rabid Palin/McCain supporters, a quick perusal of the comments in response to Jack Cafferty's question at CNN.com, "Should the first presidential debate be postponed?" indicates that a healthy majority of people think the show should go on.
2) Depending on who one listens to, this crisis has been years or even decades in the making. It is my sense that this is Reaganomics come to full fruition – utter deregulation coupled with upward wealth redistribution. Now, McCain has threatened to boycott the debate set for Friday unless a sweeping economic bail-out is approved by then. Given the incubation period for the current financial crisis, McCain is insane to think an effective recovery plan can be in place by Friday. Bear in mind that this is about a week after McCain told anybody who would listen that, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." If any action by Congress or Resident Bush is, in fact, prudent, it seems that it would take more than a few days to hash out any remotely responsible plan.
3) Maybe the real goal of the Palin/McCain camp is to delay, or even avoid entirely, having Sarah Palin face Joe Biden in the vice-presidential debates. The campaign has gone to great lengths to shield Caribou Barbie from any rigorous questioning and this stunt would buy another week during which she can pose for photo-ops and perhaps talk with the occasional world leader about their children, thus bolstering her abysmal foreign policy "credibility."
It wasn't long ago that John McCain, in a candid moment, admitted that he is no expert on economic matters. So, just what does he think that he brings to the crisis discussion table that is so important that he needs to suspend his campaign? The other members of Congress, some more and some less competent than McCain or Obama in economic matters, would certainly welcome their opinions after the debate is over.