Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Debate Pullout is an act of Desperation

Does anyone really believe that McCain's debate pullout was motivated by selfless patriotism?

"I think this is a gimmick, pure and simple," said Tom Schaller, a political commentator and professor of political science at the University of Maryland. "McCain is losing the national conversation on the economy, so he's looking for some attempt to prove he is high-minded and above mere campaign and debate politics.

"It looks like he's trying to call a time out in the middle of a presidential campaign and then take credit for it."

He wants to distract people from the polls showing a tidal wave favoring Obama.
The decision by Mr. McCain came on the same day that a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that Mr. Obama now holds a nine-point lead in the race because of the pessimism surrounding the economy.

The military man who was tortured during wartime can't take the heat of a presidential debate.
Toni-Michelle Travis, professor of government at George Mason University in Washington, thinks that Mr. McCain will be perceived as "ducking and running" from a fight. She also said that the recent bank bailouts and the ensuing market volatility has "changed the campaign."

"I think there's something about our culture that when you back off for a potential fight that does not play well," said Prof. Travis. "I think he's trying to find his way and he's not showing leadership. It's a short coming if you look like you're ducking and running from the debate and I think it's going to be perceived negatively. I think he's trying to regroup."

She said in any debate Mr. McCain would be portrayed as being part of the current mess, part of the "non-regulatory Republican gang."

"How many houses does McCain own? How close can you tie him to the filthy rich? I think Obama could easily say he's closer to them than he is to you because you're working class, you're punching the time clock or a single parent trying to make ends meet. And our retirement plans are eroding away and we don't want to think how badly."

It's not unlike McCain:
Threatening to boycott Friday's debate in favor of full time focus on the nation's financial meltdown is one way to at least temporarily upset the course of a race that isn't going your way. Whenever things aren't going well for McCain he comes up with something to change the narrative.

So much is stacked against McCain. Republicans are politically on the run. His party's president is unpopular. And the sudden national obsession with big-finance economics is keeping the GOP nominee on the defensive, even threatening to ensare his own campaign manager for doing business with a troubled company.

This supporter of the McCain pullout puts their finger on the real reason for the Republican nominee's ploy.
This move also halts Obama's momentum. McCain was taking a bath in the polls as this economic crisis grabbed ever more attention. Regardless of reality, public perception is that the left are better stewards on economic issues. Obama has gained on the economic crisis while McCain has been flailing in response, still not yet responding effectively. This move stops the Obama camp in their tracks from attacking McCain on economic issues while McCain is in Washington. To do otherwise would reflect very poorly on Obama.

There is a solution for McCain supporters. This "idea" comes from the 'Draft Palin for Vice President' website:
This leaves McCain in a tricky position. If he has the courage to stay at work, Obama could turn the "debate" into an infomercial and harangue McCain for not coming. If he shows up, however, he will be going back on his word and possibly letting the negations disintegrate at the eleventh hour. While most people think that this puts McCain's back to the wall, they are failing to consider a third potential option: McCain could stay at work and offer to send Gov. Palin as a surrogate if Obama continues his temper-tantrum. I know that this sounds rather crazy[...]

It's it also about doing something dramatic. Selecting Palin hasn't worked, although initially it looked brilliant.
"McCain needed to do something dramatic to change the tone of the conversation," said Dan Schnur, a top aide in McCain's 2000 campaign. "It may work. It may not work. But it's got a much better chance of working than just sitting there and letting this crisis roll over him."

Democrats -- noting that until recently McCain had opposed government intervention in the financial crisis and insisted the economy was fundamentally sound -- cast his move as politically convenient. "Transparent, vapid publicity stunt," Democratic pollster Mark Mellman scoffed.

McCain essentially tried to cast Obama in the position of junior partner, following McCain's lead on the dominant issue of the day.

Obama made clear that he was the one who first called McCain Wednesday morning to ask that the two campaigns issue a joint statement outlining their principles for a deal. Obama said he only learned of McCain's plans to return to Washington from TV.

[...]McCain's move came as his campaign faces trouble on several fronts. National polls by ABC-Washington Post and NBC-Wall Street Journal showed Obama gaining favor as the economy dominated voters' concerns. There's also a brewing controversy over payments to a lobbying firm founded by McCain campaign manager Rick Davis from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been taken over by the government.

The Democratic leadership realizes this is a stunt and are not falling for it.
On Capitol Hill, McCain's move could complicate sensitive negotiations on the bailout. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it clear McCain wasn't welcome.

When McCain called Reid and said he wanted to sit down with congressional leaders, Reid read him a statement he had released to reporters characterizing McCain's move as a gimmick. Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the Nevada Democrat told McCain "it would not be helpful" for the candidates to get involved in the talks and risk injecting presidential politics in them.

"We need leadership, not a campaign photo op," Reid said.

Wouldn't have anything to do with an alleged affair by Palin exposed by the National Enquirer? Before you scoff, the Enquirer exposed the Edwards sex scandal as well.
REPUBLICAN VP hopeful Sarah Palin has been accused of having an affair with her husband's business partner.

The Alaska governor, a mother of five, is alleged to have cheated on her husband Todd – a 44-year-old fisherman – in an affair which almost ruined her career.

The National Enquirer claims the relationship was being widely discussed in Alaska, and that Mr Palin had severed all connections with the friend.

McCain has a history of pulling out of debates when he is behind in the polls. This belies his dishonest contention that he is doing it for patriotic reasons.
[...]this is not the first time the Arizona Senator has withdrawn from a presidential debate; he did it in California in 2000 against George W. Bush.

At the time, polls showed he was lagging seriously behind the then-Texas governor, and he said he would appear with the candidate on Sunday talk shows instead."