Be Honest

September 24, 2008 4:37 p.m.

Let’s state outright a few obvious points. Bringing the presidential candidates and their press entourages back to Capitol Hill won’t speed or improve the process of coming up with a good bailout deal. It will politicize it. That’s so transparently obvious that it barely requires stating. And of course that is the point.

By going public with his ‘suspension’ announcement as a breaking news statement McCain intended to make any agreement between the candidate impossible. Contrast that with Obama’s campaign, which apparently tried to get both campaigns to agree on a common set of principles privately before going public. There’s no logical reason there can’t be a presidential debate while a bailout plan is being negotiated.

Finally, does anyone think that McCain would have come up with this gambit if his polls were where they were two weeks ago instead of where they are today? Of course, not. This isn’t a reaction to the national financial crisis but to the McCain polling crisis.

The McCain supporters who are cheering this aren’t doing so because they think it’s the right thing to do but because they hope it’s ingenious politics.

If anyone can think of any reason why these points are not incontestably accurate, I would be obliged if you could let me know.

He’s desperate and reckless. This is what it appears to be: political stunt dressed up as vainglorious self-sacrifice. In other words, typical John McCain.

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