By Al Giordano
The McCain campaign has been sinking both in national and swing state polls for more than a week now. Obama's been working out for the "foreign policy" debate (supposedly McCain's strong suite) for what could have been a knock-out punch (like the first Reagan-Carter debate in 1980, when the American public finally grew comfortable with Reagan; a similar scenario has been cooking this time in favor of the Democrat) come Friday.
And so you've probably heard the news that a few minutes ago McCain called for postponing the debate, says he'll "suspend" his campaign and go back to DC to work on the Wall Street bail out bill, and called on Obama to do the same.
It's not a bad gambit considering that McCain was heading into a buzz saw if he didn't do something to distract and confound.
My first instinct is that Obama could respond by saying: "I agree with Senator McCain and I'm sending my best man, Senator Biden, to Washington to represent our ticket's statement of economic principles in the negotiations on Capitol Hill, while I continue to cross the country and listen to what the people outside of Washington - not just the lobbyists and politicians inside the beltway - want us to do. Senator Biden is more than capable to captain our ticket's positions on fixing the economic crisis, but the solution can't just come from Washington DC."
This just came into the mailbox from Bill Burton of the Obama campaign:
At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama's call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details.
Your thoughts, Field Hands?
Update: Will this be tomorrow morning's headline?: McCain to Mississippi: Drop Dead.
(If the debate is postponed, Mississippi could take a huge economic hit: the University of Mississippi in Oxford, the hotels, caterers, and service industry that have worked all year in anticipation of the debate as local economic stimulus package are not going to be happy about this.)
Update II: Ha ha. Fox News reports that the Obama campaign has told them that the debate should go on, that "this is not a sky is falling moment." Get it? Our meme has mutated! McCain is now cast as Chicken Little.
Update III: Here's a similar angle to that in Update I. Shephard Smith on Fox News seems to be pushing hard the idea that "they can do both" (the economic bill and the debate). Why would pro-GOP Fox News be so adamantly hostile to McCain's proposal? Because it's a business that has invested mega-bucks in the Friday debate coverage from Mississippi. Just like the folks in Ole Miss don't like the proposal for a change-up, neither will the news organizations: the imposed chaos hits them in the pocketbook, too.