McCain who it is fair to say has defined his campaign with abrupt and unexpected decisions decided to skip the debate, threatening to turn the rather delicate negotiations about economy into a circus of partisan politics. This was apparently a stab at seizing the momentum in a rapidly declining campaign. McCain is certainly not disinclined toward drama and theater in politics. This unfortunately has not served him well in the long run and is unlikely to serve him now.
After McCain’s announcement that he was needed more in Washington D.C. than in the campaign for the presidency, Harry Reid responded as follows:
This is a critical time for our country. While I appreciate that both candidates have signaled their willingness to help, Congress and the Administration have a process in place to reach a solution to this unprecedented financial crisis.
I understand that the candidates are putting together a joint statement at Senator Obama’s suggestion. But it would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy. If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.
If there were ever a time for both candidates to hold a debate before the American people about this serious challenge, it is now.
McCain’s “suspension” of his campaign apparently has had limited effect on those outside the McCain campaign, as the debate is proceeding as scheduled.