John McCain says he will suspend his campaign, head to Washington, and work on a bipartisan effort to put together a bill that is palatable to lawmakers, the White House, and “Main Street” (why can’t they just say the American Taxpayer? – no one lives on “Main Street” anymore). Obama says the debates must go on. The Commission on Debates says the debates must go on. So here we stand. The press is already on The One’s side.
As Truth But Verify’s friend Laura S. in Dallas notes: “It is a sad day in America when we lament the lack of leadership in Washington, and yet deride an individual trying to show some.” She is right.
From a policymaker standpoint, McCain is rising above the political fray, staying true to his name as a lawmaker who breaks impasse, moves the ball forward, and drives good ideas through the great wall called partisanship. McCain is a moderate – a maverick, and one who is more likely to earn additional reformer stripes than Barack “what box does the leadership want me to check?” Obama.
From a political campaign standpoint, McCain is in a win-win. We have a looming crisis where large amounts of credit will dry up – a lack of liquidity that will begin to cripple areas of our economy that no one imagined. It is like predicting hurricanes a few decades ago – we know it is coming but have no idea how big it will be or where exactly it will hit – not to mention how long it will take to repair the damage.
McCain is heading to Capitol Hill. He does draw a salary paid for by the American taxpayer. He is going to earn his money. The same taxpayer that pays McCain and Obama’s salaries is being asked to contribute 700 billion dollars for an asset purchase that may or may not make any money. This is unprecedented in scope, so the hesitation is understandable. The Dems are too worried about how to play this very large card politically. Harry Reid even asked that McCain subscribe to the bill before they would – in order to make sure it doesn’t explode (politically) in their lap. McCain is basically telling them, “I don’t play that game – lets get to work and knock this out – it is our job after all.” Obama is on the sidelines.
So what is Obama going to do? Surely he will “reach across the ailse”? He is the Dem’s nominee for President of the United States – how about showing some leadership? Well, as any self-interested “me first, country second” politician, he is more worried about prepping for a debate on foreign policy, attending the debate on Friday, and going to Washington ‘if they need him.’ Obama is more concerned with wedging this foreign policy debate (his weak point) between a Friday news cycle focused on the crisis at hand, and a Monday news cycle focused on the same crisis – his potentially poor performance will be buried by the media’s coverage of the financial crisis. Obama came out today and said the debate will go on. God forbid he follows McCain’s lead and actually go to work, push back the debate a bit, and show your bipartisan stripes. The truth is, Obama has never done that – EVER. McCain would not be McCain if he did not dive in and do what he was elected to do.
How Will The Chips Fall? Here is a breakdown:
McCain goes to Washington and skips the debate. Obama will be stuck in the awkward position of criticizing McCain for working on a weekend b/c he cares how 700 billion of taxpayer money is spent – and cares that the taxpayer has a real voice in the matter. I doubt the taxpayers in MI, PA, OH, FL, CO, IA, MN, VA, WI and NH will give McCain a hard time for working on such an important matter. If Obama chooses to later follow McCain, he will demonstrate some common sense, but a lack of leadership – McCain will win (politically), for not waiting to see which direction the wind was blowing. If Obama chooses not to go, he can campaign, give speeches, but all the while McCain will be hammering out a bill.
So what about the Dems in Congress? They are in the awkward position of working in a bipartisan fashion and coming to an agreement – now led by McCain’s push for a solution. If they are successful – McCain scores a big win, the Congress looks like they are grown ups, but Obama will have to explain why he was reluctant to do what McCain did – lead and be blind to party lines. Alternatively, if Congress stalls b/c they do not want to give McCain such a critical win (politically) less than 6 weeks before the election, then the people will point at the “me first, country second” Democrats in Congress, wonder why Obama didn’t inject himself to work at a bipartisan solution since he is their party’s leader at this point, and give McCain the credit he deserves for staying true to his campaign’s theme: Country First.
Let the Chips Fall.
– TBV’s AP