…yet a shrewd political move…

On a bit of reflection, I see this as a mine field for Obama, and a particularly shrewd gamble on McSame’s part.

If McCain goes to Washington and Obama doesn’t, he can claim that he’s working for the economy and Obama is not – effectively nullifying Obama’s natural Democratic economy-advantage.

If Obama does go to Washington and suspend his campaign, he risks looking like a follower of the “working for you McCain” rather than a leader.

If McCain comes back having put together a slam-jam bill that is crappy, and Obama calls it out as such, the argument is simply “Then why weren’t you there to fight it?”

If he goes to Washington and *nothing* happens, then he looks like he’s impotent on an economy problem.

If he maintains his high-profile campaigning while McCain is sequestered in Washington, he looks like he’s taking advantage of the situation for political purposes.

There are some pathways through this mess, but they involve problematic and nuanced solutions which don’t play well with 45 days to go. I will be *really interested* to see how the Obama campaign works to null this push. There are some people on the news that are saying there is more to Obama’s advantage as it sits, but playing a few moves out, there are troubling cul-de-sacs and sacrifices. This will be interesting.


  1. braindonkey says:

    Although you are right, I disagree. Obama should campaign the ever-loving-shit out of the next few days. The single potential bad spin of “not being there for the economy” can be WAY overshadowed by a few dozen hardcore campaign days.

    He could even meet with mortgage owners who are in danger, getting a “real feel for what people want”.

    But really, in the end, Obama has to say 2 things. “I am working on it, with the rest of the senate, while i’m on the road, because I know how to use the internet, email, and telephone.” And “i can multitask”.

  2. perkiset says:

    And the news coverage of the last couple hours has completely borne you out. One instant thousand-person survey showed that fully 90% of the people surveyed think the debates should go on, and only 14% felt like the campaigns should be suspended. Virtually every indication is that this is bad for McCain, for the reasons that I first blogged and then you outline here.

    Sidenote: looking at how the press has been held back from Palin at the international meetings, I think this is a way to try to get the 3 presidential campaigns to destroy the schedule for the VP debate, saving Palin from unnecessary “exposure.”


  3. braindonkey says:

    yep i just read that about the Veep debates. LOL.

    Obviously they are terrified that Palin will get just completely bulldozed, which she probably will. But i find it more weird that mccain actually thought it was a good idea to suggest putting off the pres debate. It to me can indicate nothing more than avoiding it, and thus, fear.

    again. Whaddabunchapussies.

  4. perkiset says:

    Yup… official request to move the Veep debates sent to the press. So very transparent I’m amazed. It’s like they could give a shit that we all know how stupid they look.

    I am REALLY hoping that the Obama campaign does not let this happen because I want to see Palin get spanked as she deserves.

  5. SFNathan says:

    I’m sure McCain got off the phone with Barack Obama this morning and thought this was a shrewd move that would box Obama in, and like the gambler he is, McCain jumped at the opportunity to change the dynamic of the race. But ultimately, this was one of THE DUMBEST moves McCain has made this entire campaign and may prove to turn the race from a horse race to a slam-dunk for Obama.

    The Presidential Debates are a public rite that happen once every four years, and for a candidate to blow them off (even for alegedly higher than political reasons), is an affront to the public. This is SO transparent, and stands in contrast to tradition so blatantly, that even conservatives are having a hard time not acknowledging that this move by McCain is a political stunt. And a supremely stupid one, considering that the debates are the last opportunity he has to turn the dynamic of this race around.

    Democrats can’t rest for a minute in fighting to get Obama elected, but McCain may have just thrown us the election, with the potential now for Obama to win with a landslide, if Obama plays his hand well.

  6. perkiset says:

    I am so very glad that your words appear to be 100% correct SFN – this was my hope, but I needed to attenuate my joy with the *potential* reality that McCain would benefit in the public eye from this stunt.

    It would appear that this is simply increasing Obama’s electability, momentum and Presidential image. And with good reason, to your point: this is perhaps the stupidest political stunt I’ve ever seen. Bravo! Encore!

    Thank you, John, for demonstrating exactly who you are before lots of people made a horrible decision. And oh, BTW: we are all REALLY looking forward to seeing your VP pick go mana a mano with Barack’s. That should be even more delightful than watching you suck pond water.