Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain's Second Coup

The first was selecting Palin.

The second is suspending his campaign to go to Capitol Hill and settle the bailout mess. This is extremely better than his previous dumb stuff like calling for the SEC chair to be fired.

McCain has managed to do multiple good things at once with today's shrewd move:
  • He shows that he sees himself as a leader, at least of his party, if not Congress and the country.
  • He looks like he cares more about the country than his campaign.
  • He shows a predisposition to action.
  • When a bill inevitably passes, he can claim some credit for the outcome, which will doubtless have salutary effects in the short term.
  • He has taken initiative away from his opponent, who is forced either to comply or find some grounds to object.
Obama chose not to comply, which would make him look weak, but to object. We think his objections look weak: not wanting to inject presidential politics into the process (Americans want their President injected in processes, and everything that happens among politicians is injected with presidential politics these days), and saying that the debates should go on because Presidents should be able to do more than one thing at a time (so should Roosevelt have opened a supermarket on December 8, 1941?). If Obama thinks he can pound McCain as a chicken for failing to show up for Friday's debate, we think Americans will again prefer action to talk.

Really, we think Obama is running like Thomas Dewey in 1948, trying to commit to nothing so as not to lose. By doing nothing, he risks Truman's "do-nothing" label being applied to him as Truman applied it to the Republican Congress that fateful year.

1 comment:

Matt Coulter said...

I'm not sure that this was the best move for McCain based on the fact that we are still talking about the same inept congress that will be meeting and will probably either get nowhere this weekend or into a really bad deal with really bad earmarks and McCain will get associated with the negative side of the story.

On the other hand I like how this feels like freezing a kicker by using up your "time-outs" at the end of the fourth quarter.