An e-mail — one of many furious at me (which actually has me in better mood than I was in ten minutes ago):
I gotta disagree on your reading of this campaign moment.
McCain has, again quite boldly, literally seized the initiative on this economic crisis. He’s actually setting the terms for the political interpretation of this event. He spit out a press release accompanied by a dramatic action (suspending the campaign) that the Obama campaign can’t ignore – they are forced to deal with the debate question. We’ve been watching the campaigns try to get their footing and demonstrate credible leadership on the immediate issue, and McCain has done it. This entire news cycle is going to be about McCain’s move. The facts of the news story will jump right across the MSM filter into the eyes and ears of the voter: “McCain makes bold decisions in response to dramatic events.”
Managing the response will be tricky for Obama and he’ll be on the back foot until the issue recedes. He’s done an ok job to this point, but I don’t see a way for him to score better than a draw politically. Changing the subject doesn’t seem like a good option, and even the MSM can’t change the subject for him. Additionally, if McCain does famously suspend advertisement, every Obama ad potentially backfires as “playing politics” during crisis.
Of course, the left will say that this is just a gimmick. Random Voter, however, will see that, gimmick or not, it is a risky thing to suspend a campaign 5-6 weeks before a presidential election. McCain is an important senate leader, and it is necessary for him to help constitute a consensus there. Who knows? Maybe RV will realize that there’s a reason Obama didn’t feel needed in D.C.
IMHO, this is another (Palin) brilliant stroke for the McCain campaign and demonstrates the legitimacy of his claim to be a creative and courageous leader.
Someone does have to explain that Obama didn’t have to go back to D.C. because voting present isn’t worth the carbon footprint.