The Politics behind McCain’s Call to Postpone the Debate

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-9948568-6’]);
_gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘’]);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();…ImageIn a statement, John McCain has suspended his presidential campaign in order to come back to Washington and work on the federal bailout bill. McCain called for a postponement of Friday’s debate and called on Obama to do the same. This is another attempt by the McCain campaign to portray McCain as a leader, and play politics with the issue.

McCain said, Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me. I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”

He tried to position himself as a bipartisan leader, “We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.”

McCain also invoked 9/11, “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.”

This is a huge political gamble by McCain. He is trying to get on top of the issue by putting Obama in a box. If Obama agrees to postpone the debate, McCain looks like a leader. If Obama insists that the debate goes forward, then McCain can paint Obama as putting politics over country. This is an interesting flip for McCain considering that earlier in the week he was sending signals that he was not going to show up and vote for the bill.

I think this is a shallow attempt to play politics with a critical issue. If McCain wants the bill passed, there is no need for such drama. All McCain has to do is send the signal to the Republicans on the Hill that they need to support the bill. My hunch is that Obama will agree to suspend the debate, which I think is strategically and politically the best move. The debate could probably be moved to Monday with no problem. McCain is trying to play politics here, but I think the Obama camp is too sharp to fall into their trap.

McCain’s Full Remarks

Related Posts :

If you’re ready to read more from the unbossed and unbought Politicus team, sign up for our newsletter here!

22 Replies to “The Politics behind McCain’s Call to Postpone the Debate”

  1. Leadership, not a word synonymous with Obama. ‘Calling it in’ would be an Obama move, not something McCain would do and not something anyone wants the President to do.

  2. I won’t argue that this “may” be a political move by McCain but the appearance is that he’s leading from the front.

    Obama is
    A- upset he didn’t think of it first and
    B- cornered

    Good job Team McCain!

  3. Selecting Palin, didn’t work and this won’t work either. He’s not leading he’s running. The President of the United States has to be able to handle more than one thing at a time. If John McCain can’t handle the debate (he scared of looking foolish…ooops to late) and lend support to the mess the Wall Street is in (by way we have his Financial Advisor to thank for all of this for deregulation the market) then he does not deserved to be the nominee much less the President.

  4. Neither of these Senators have been in Washington conducting any senatorial duties in over a year. Now, all of a sudden McCain just has to be back for this vote. This is ridiculous, and anyone with any kind of political savy can see thru this blindfolded.
    Now is the time to have this debate.!!! To see what the next President plans to do with this mess.!!!

  5. If John McCain wants to show leadership, then he should fire his Financial Advisor and all of the other lobbyist that created this mess. But he won’t because he’s a part of it. Remember he is one of the Keating Five.

    What a disater this man turned out to be!!!!

  6. Look, If Mccain will postpone it again to another time and another day again and again,and I smell some fish, that Palin will also postpone the debate to Biden.Well that’s cowardness to fight against OBAMA/BIDEN. I hope there are a penalty to postpone the debate. OK, if Mccain is suffering again with skin cancer and he is in the Hospital then we forgive him or VP Palin will take over the debate to Obama she is anyway second hand of Mccain.( Obama=IQ 150.PALIN=IQ to nowhere = 80( moron).85% are now expecting to watch.come on Mccain show your courages only 2 hrs. to spare your time. you said economy has good progress? 700 bill. Bail out?

  7. The proposed bill is going to be controlled by House and Senate Banking Committee. John Mccain is not a member of the Banking Committee and cannot be part of any hearings that this committee holds. This committee is also lead by Democrats. The one thing that John Mccain has done is vote for every bill that deregulated the financial industry.

    On the 0ther hand, Obama has talked to the Treasury Secretary and key member of the House and Senate every day and come to Washington quickly.

    To have our leaders suspend their duties because of one major problem is not leadership. In my management experience, I have had to deal with many problems at the same time.

    I am a republican and what our party needs Ron Paul more than ever.

  8. Lucky McCain. Bet he’s thrilled that our nation is in chaos, helped along by all his lobbyist friends and advisers, so now he has an excuse to get out of debating this last month of campaigning, and now his VP
    candidate is going along with it too and not
    planning to debate Biden. Why does the economy debacle have anything to do with Sarah’s candidacy?
    No president is an actual expert on economics, but it’s the economists he/she
    associates with that can save us from financial woes. Not being part of the old gang, I’ll listen to Obama and his advisers.

  9. McCain is pulling yet another political stunt so he can run and hide and hide Palin. He hasn’t voted in the Senate since early April and suddenly has to run back to D.C. where he has no influence over these negotiations? I know he doesn’t know about technology but we do have these groovy new things called cell phones. I just bet that one of his aids has one and could keep McCain apprised of the situation and then McCain could fly back to D.C. to vote on this if he wanted to. Obama was right on when he said that a president has to multi-task. I think McCain wants out of this foreign policy debate because of the speech Biden gave yesterday. It ripped McCain and showed what a war monger he is. McCain wanted to bomb almost the entire Middle East after 9/11.
    If McCain really wanted to do what’s best for this country, he should quit the race and take Palin with him.

  10. McCain’s duties are to be a senator. By suspending his campain he looks like he is more concerned with the country’s well being than his becoming president. In my view it is a huge political gamble, if he can show that he was usefull in getting the “bailout” passed then he reaps huge rewards from the voters. If it looks like he just showed up in Washington and did nothing but photo ops he loses.

  11. This debate is McCain’s strong suit. He doesn’t need a lot of prep for it. He will show up for the debate and look good because he will look as if he spent his time trying to fix the “bailout” and still have command of the subject.

  12. I believe the McCain camp is hoping that all this maneuvering will lead to a postponement of the VICE presidential debate. It’s obvious from their overzealous attempts at keeping the media away from Palin, that they fear she is not ready for the debate next Thursday. The debate should go on as planned, or they should move the vice presidential debate to 9/26 and the presidential debate to 10/2.

  13. McCain has already gambled and lost here. McCain looks even more out of the loop because he had the status of the bill all wrong. The sides seem to be a lot closer to an agreement. The Congress and the Administration both think a deal is close. The only person who didn’t was John McCain. McCain was hoping to swoop in and play the hero. The fact that the McCain camp asked for the VP debate to be postponed should not be overlooked. I think that they were trying to capitalize on a crisis, and trying to buy themselves more time.

  14. He doesn’t sit on any of the committees that deal with this kind of crisis and why does he have the nerve to tell us the American people what he not going to do concerning the debate. Oh, I’m going to cancell the debate. Did you ask us? You’re applying for a job, buddie. You can’t reschedule the interview, only the interviewer can and we the American people are the interviewers. You better get yourself together and wake up. You don’t run us yet. McCain to planet Earth, McCain to planet Earth, please.

  15. McCain won’t play anymore until the Democrats take half of the blame for the Wall St. collapse. He wants Obama to sign off on whatever bailout plan they come up with. Once the Democrats take half of the blame, Karl Rove just has to think of a way to make them take all of the blame.

  16. Give me a break. McCain actually thinks that the American people are stupid enough to elect our President the same way he choose his VP candidate. No knowledge and no questions asked. Democrats and the undecided have been waiting for this debate so the world can see exactly how ignorant McCain is when it comes to our economy. To even suggest canceling the VP debate…nice try McCain, but it’s not going to work. Go team OBAMA!!

  17. It’s a shame for McCain wanted to postpone the debate tomorrow. If he’s a true leader that he and Palin always boasting about, he has to get ready to face-off Obama in a debate. Obama is right to say as President you have to be able to multi-tasking. Eversince he picked Sarah Palin as his VP the look and feel of his overall campaign stategies mirrored the man in the White House that he’s trying to replace. Especially, during Karl Rove’s regime-they become control freaks, out of touch and paranoia. Banning Sarah Palin from most media outlets, all the lies they said about Obama’s records and all the flip flops corutesy of McCain will not fool the American people.

    We have enough of 8 years of Bush Admnistration that put us in the big mess with war in Iraq (will cost more than a trillion dollars!), financial mess that we’re in (as Bush earlier this year told us that our economic fundamental is sound). mortgage meltdown..etc..etc.

  18. Taking into account the consequential decisions that McCain and his fellow Republicans have made since winning the nomination, I have come to a thought provoking conclusion. Maybe the Republicans don’t WANT to win! They seem to be making decisions that will make losing a certainty! This has the makings of a historical mockery of our political process.

  19. The Press including People arround the World are eager to watch the Historical Debate ever, and it will be The most Memorable events on Earth.Can you imagine how much they spent to this round up to be able to hear OBAMA and MCCAIN face to face.What they are they Plan and Strategy in order to save the lives of our Country and of course our Planet.Mccain! We will not thrust you for cancelling this Momentum events and We will condemm you for this turn out.Obama will explain and show us, How and Why this Mess of Econamy turmoil began and ending to disastrous. I don’t know why they just expose the Bail out of 700 Bill? why not expose it when the of the debts are only just over a Million Bail out? Maybe we can save that Problem.We have the alot of Q&A about the Fachs and knowlages in order to to decide Who is capable to do the Job as President of USA.We will wait you there in Mississipi Mccain!Dont try to provoke us. OBAMA/BIDE MAY THE GOD BLESS YOU.

Comments are closed.