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John McCain Is No Jimmy Stewart, National Election Not Frank Capra Film

September 25, 2008

I think I know what type of political effect John McCain was hoping for as he took to the podium on Wednesday to announce that the greater good of his flying to Washington to work on the financial bailout legislation while leaving behind the mere political aspects of an election year, would best serve the nation.  One could almost hear the symphonic music playing, and conjure up grainy black and white images as McCain’s Hollywood moment was playing out.  The problem is of course that McCain has no real role to play once he does make it to the halls of Congress.  Even as I write this on Thursday morning he is still in New York giving a speech, while the dealmakers are narrowing in on the deal for a bill to mange the financial disaster in Washington.

One of John McCain’s top aides might inform the Senator soon that the 2008 presidential election is not a Frank Capra film.  To watch the actions of the Republican nominee yesterday has left me, and I suspect much of the nation, wondering how suspending the political process, and postponing debates, will assist voters who have a very serious decision to make in early November.

John McCain is hoping that he can be a crisis manager, and bring his fellow colleagues along on a consensus bill by using his charm and intellect.  The problem is of course that he is not noted for the former, and how he has conducted his political affairs over the last 24 hours makes the latter questionable.  In addition, McCain is known as a maverick, often running counter to the more conservative and traditional Republicans who are not likely to swoon when he walks into a room, nor smile while he twists their arms for a vote.  His effect may be minimal at best, and I suspect the actual Republican whips in the House will have more positive outcomes as they know how best to proceed with their members.

The troubling part to this whole latest scenario is that McCain is using the economic troubles in the nation as a backdrop for his sluggish performance on the campaign trail, and his diminishing numbers in the polls.   He is suspending not only his campaign, but also wants the political process to be suspended as well.  By changing not one, but two national debates, he undercuts what we need most at this moment, that being a full and frank discussion about the state of the world that we now find ourselves.  Most Americans are nervous and filled with anxiety, and the last thing they need is more unplanned and unneeded historic moments such as the one that McCain made yesterday.

Instead a national conversation on Friday night between Barack Obama and John McCain is what would best serve the needs of the electorate at this time.  After the upheaval in the financial markets, and the political antics this week, that might be a perfect Frank Capra ending.

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  1. September 25, 2008 2:08 PM

    Have at it….I only meant I had to move on with my day.

  2. Dani permalink
    September 25, 2008 1:58 PM

    I’m sure they were happy about them both being there…I’m sure Congress would like to fix this without the media looming about. I’m sorry you feel you have to end our banter…I thought that was what a blog with enabled comments was for…

  3. September 25, 2008 1:26 PM

    Without doing this all day….the facts show that Obama was involved in a real and meaningful way on a daily basis. And you will note that some in Washington actually liked the fact that both nominees were not there so to add yet another leayer of politics on an already tough situation.

    With that I end this back and forth.

  4. Dani permalink
    September 25, 2008 1:06 PM

    Yes, I am sure he has been in contact with Secretary Paulson…just as McCain has surely been as well. We can’t really praise either one of them for that…it is part of their current job and one of them will have their hands deep in it before long. So, of course, they all would be in close contact…it would ridiculous for them to not be abreast of the situation in light of what they are trying to accomplish. However, it just seems that Obama did not believe the situation was dire enough to jump in and work on it in Washington with his fellow colleagues until he was invited. I personally would like to have a leader that took the initiative to get things right, be in the midst of it all…who didn’t have to be asked to come and participate.

  5. September 25, 2008 12:50 PM

    No problem.

    I need to add however for clarity that over the last few days, Obama has been in close daily contact with Secretary Paulson and leaders in Congress, and helped to craft the Democratic aspects to this bill.

    When invited by the President, he said he would be at the White House for the meeting. Today at 4 P.M. ET

  6. Dani permalink
    September 25, 2008 11:31 AM

    Thank you for your answer, and forgive the strangeness of my post. Somehow my words got moved around. Anyway, Obama still wasn’t willing to go and work on it today. I am glad he proposed a joint statement in support of an economic fix, but he was very reluctant to actually go and fix it.

  7. September 25, 2008 11:25 AM

    Since you asked….here is the answer.

    Obama called McCain first with the proposal for a joint statement in support of an economic fix. He said McCain called back several hours later and agreed to the idea of a statement but also said he wanted to postpone the debate and hold joint meetings in Washington. Obama said he suggested they first issue the statement.

  8. Dani permalink
    September 25, 2008 10:34 AM

    If it isn’t such a big deal that McCain suspened his campaign, then why is Bid claiming that Obama is the outstanding leader who reached across party lines for the candidates to work together on this issue?? Not true, as we all know. Obama would press on with his smear, but if it isn’t that important, then why does Biden try to claim the limelight for his #1?

    And I disagree, I do want this issue with the economy to be taken care of before a debate is to be had. It is a serious matter…a debate is just two people trying to make themselves look good and make the other person trip up or to hurl insults at one another. I can look online and investigate for myself who has the best foreign policy stances…I cannot look online to find out the economical future of the US.aign…and the Dems think it is a lack luster “performance” then why is Biden hailing Obama as the outstanding leader who reached across the aisle to work

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