Diary

McCain Suspends Campaign; Calls on Obama to Do the Same, Postpone Debates

Multiple news outlets are now reporting that John McCain has made the decision to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to work on the financial crisis. I have no idea about whether this is a politically smart move or not, but I have to think this is the responsible action for McCain to take. Right now, the overwhelming consensus is that the bailout is in trouble, and that the most likely thing that Congress is going to do before Friday at this point is nothing. The end result of doing nothing, I am reliably told by people who are smarter than I am, would be catastrophic.

A lot of folks have some differing opinions about what should be done about the Wall Street meltdown, and what should or should not be included in whatever the Government decides to do in response. But what is becoming clear right now is that we simply do not have time to wait around for all the normal partisan bickering about pointless issues that are collateral to the problem at hand (like CEO compensation) before something gets done. And, unfortunately, our President is a very lame duck who has no pull with anyone. The only two people who are able to make something happen at this point are John McCain and Barack Obama, because at least they will be able to pull their respective caucuses together to some degree on the theory that each has a roughly 50/50 chance of being President in 6 months.

This may be an unprecedented moment in modern Presidential campaigning. The nation is in crisis and the only thing that will resolve it is cooperation between the two principal rivals for the Presidency. We know that John McCain has a long track record of cobbling together bipartisan coalitions to pass legislation; we will now see if Obama is made of the same stuff, or if he is even willing to try.