Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain's Onside Kick

As probably YCP's token John McCain supporter, I only have this to say this morning.

Either the man is sheer fucking brilliant or he is batshit crazy. McCain has suspended his campaign in order to return to Washington to work on the mortgage bailout bill...a bill that largely seems doomed. McCain has asked Obama (and presumably Biden) to join him and postpone Friday's Presidential debate.

On a political level, if picking Sarah Palin was a Hail Mary, this is probably the political equivalent of an onside kick. Call me cynical, but in a Democrat-controlled Congress, I can't imagine too many people in an election year willing to do anything to help McCain. So essentially, we are looking at a new bill that will most likely take through the weekend, rendering tomorrow's debate unlikely.

This naturally opens McCain up to somewhat specious charges of "being afraid of Obama," which I don't think is the case. I believe McCain has an honest desire to do his job as a Senator and get this thing done and if some political gamesmanship comes about as a side-effect, it's a bonus.

I personally hope to see a good bill passed AND tomorrow's debate go off as planned, That being said, a decently-sized slice of the electorate votes for President on stupid bullshit like "Who they'd rather have a beer with" or "Who's cuter." Perhaps the fewer number of times that McCain can look like a face-melting Richard Nixon next to Obama's JFK-like youth can only be a good thing.

Literally the only way this can work out for McCain is if SOMEHOW he manages to help broker a deal to get a bill through by Friday around 9AM, then can fly to Mississippi to prepare for the debate the rest of the day. McCain reinforces his "Country First" campaign slogan, shows he can work across the aisle to get things done in contrast to Obama's 96% party line vote, and constantly voting "present" on big issues during his time in what is probably one of the most ineffective state legislatures in the country.

Maybe in an ideal world McCain thought that Obama would be out of his league. By suspending his campaign and returning to Washington to do the nitty-gritty work of a Senator, Obama would have to do that for more or less the first time in his short Senate career. I was fortunate enough to meet Obama in the Spring of 2005 in Washington, shortly after he'd been sworn in, and I will tell you, the man was running for President THEN. McCain would be able to trumpet his leadership and Obama's absence (or indecisiveness/partisanship, etc...whatever happened) all the way to November.

However, even that unlikely situation is far from ideal. First off, the bill McCain was referring to is likely DOA. Second, even if the bill passes and doesn't meet with the approval of the electorate, McCain's time in Washington will have been for naught, and at the very worst look like political grandstanding.

So once again, watching this campaign, I'm sitting back and thinking "I hope you know what you're doing...."

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