Dear John: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

As many of you already know, John McCain has attempted to cancel/postpone both his first presidential debate with Barack Obama as well as Sarah “Putin Talks To Reporters More Than Me” Palin’s vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden.  McCain’s justification for the move, issued during a brief press conference earlier today, was that the United States needed to pass “bipartisan” legislation as soon as possible and his presence was required to end the debates over the economic stimulus package proposed by Fed Chairman Paulson.  Obama immediately responded in a televised statement, “Part of the president’s job is to deal with more than one thing at once. In my mind it’s more important than ever.” I could not agree more.

There is no doubt that McCain’s move to halt his campaign temporarily is a purely political move to restore his plummeting approval ratings on his economic experience, with a consensus coming from both Republican and Democratic strategists.  What they disagree on is whether or not this was a smart political move.  In a frenzy of activity on political websites, Republican pundits have declared that McCain’s move is tantamount to “leadership”, while Democrats have countered that this isn’t “surprising at all.”  Liberal strategists have said that the cancellation attempt is simply another piece in McCain’s attempt to bypass the media as well as the issues.  Despite the show of “bipartisanism” by McCain, his intended visit to Washington has been received by Capitol Hill with almost bipartisan derision.  Most lawmakers responded that they simply did not need this already extremely intense debate injected with presidential politics.

After reviewing a wide variety of interpretations about McCain’s decision, I personally am very disappointed.  I mean, I understand the whole “maverick” thing and the need to “shake things up” on a campaign that is clearly falling behind in the pools.  But, really?  The first presidential debate?  At what point does Mr. McCain intend on proving his policy arguments?  If I was still a Republican – if I hadn’t come out of the whole stick-it-to-my-liberal-parents ordeal about four years ago – I would be even more angered.  It’s one thing to have a meaningless back and forth in the media about policy proposals; I get it, it’s politics.  But you still have to at least try to debate about it at some point.  Between Palin and McCain dodging anyone with so much as a pencil and pad of paper, I cannot imagine that the eighteen-year-old-Republican-me would not flip out.  So, what will voters think?

The decision to halt his campaign will either be received in one of two ways:

(1)  The debate is cancelled and McCain is viewed as bipartisan and gains economic respect in the polls.

(2)  The debate is not cancelled and McCain looks like a coward, who tried to run to Washington to hide.

I’m sure that among strong conservatives, it won’t matter much either way.  They will race to declare John’s senatorial experience and independent leadership.  I’m just as sure that among strong liberals, there will be a resounding consensus that Obama has continued to remain professional and has integrity intact.  Both of these groups will live and die by their candidates.  But what about the independent voters who have not yet made up their minds?  According to the CBS/Washington Post poll that was released today, about 2 in 10 voters are still undecided, with most of those same voters declaring they “don’t know enough” to make a decision.

With the economy in a backslide and Palin “The Economist” saying that the US is on the verge of a “Depression”, independents cannot be viewing McCain’s declaration positively.  The economy has taken a very strong position as the most important issue to Americans and McCain admittedly looks weak on the whole debacle.  His almost asinine flip-flopping, from “The fundamentals of the economy are strong” to “We are in an unprecedented crisis” in a mere ten days is simply too short of a time period for independent voters not to notice.

McCain is starting to remind me a lot of Barry Bonds.  If all of the steroids trials have taught me anything about the American people and the media, there is one thing that Americans dislike and it is cowardice.  You cannot simply avoid talking about it – they will come after you like wolves.  Barry learned that the hard way. As small town voters in swing states sit down tonight for dinner with their friends and families, perhaps today’s political turmoil will come up.  And when it does, I am confident that most people will see McCain’s postponement for what it is: a desperate move by a desperate man.

The American people will find you John; ask Barry Bonds. You can run, but you can’t hide.

17 thoughts on “Dear John: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide”

  1. You know, I think Fox news, (surprisingly) said it best, that in today’s world you need to be able to multi-task. A president needs to deal with foreign policy issues and domestic issues all on the same day–a president needs to be able to prepare for a debate and know the issues facing America.

  2. And now McCain is in trouble:

    “In the midst of the confusion, officials with the Commission on Presidential Debates said that they were moving forward with the debate and that talks with the McCain campaign throughout the day had not persuaded them on Mr. McCain’s position. “We believe the public will be well served by having all of the debates go forward as scheduled,” the commission said.”

    AND Democratic majority leader Reid totally owned McCain:

    “Mr. Reid’s opposition to Mr. McCain’s return was described as disingenuous by Mr. McCain’s advisers, who only hours earlier had said Mr. McCain was returning to Washington in part as a response to Mr. Reid. “Senator Reid last night made clear in his view that it was up to John McCain to provide leadership on this matter,” Steve Schmidt, a senior McCain campaign adviser, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.


    “The debate on Friday was to focus on Mr. McCain’s perceived strength, foreign policy. Mr. McCain had not planned to devote large blocks of time to debate practice as did Mr. Obama, who was holing up with a tight circle of advisers at a hotel in Clearwater, Fla., on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to prepare. Mr. McCain had a preparatory session on Wednesday afternoon at the Morgan Library in Manhattan, but advisers said it had been interrupted by his decision, announced immediately afterward, to suspend his campaign.”

  3. The Real Clear Politics state by state updates show that McCain just lost a lot of independent support in New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, North Carolina?!, WEST VIRGINIA!?, and Missouri.

    Peace John McCain.

  4. So much for the polls

    And I think this guy’s opinion is a bit more credible than Letterman’s

    I’m not even going to bother comparing the merits of making a speech versus actually taking action. It’s good to know that as president Obama will have the multi tasking skills to give speeches and read Harry Reid’s e-mails all at once.

    In regards to NoButta’s comment, you are absolutely correct. However it is hard to multi-task from Oxford, MS. If the debate was in Georgetown, maybe it would be a different story.

    John McCain has often said that Obama cares more about winning the election that winning the War in Iraq, and that he has conceded defeat because he thinks it is the popular thing to do. I have long resisted agreeing with McCain here and simply thought Obama was clueless on military policy. I think it’s pretty clear now. It seems Obama again is more concerned with winning this election than helping us avoid a depression.

    To question John McCain’s ability to debate Obama on foreign policy is ridiculous. There’s a reason why Obama was reluctant to even have two debates. There’s also a reason why Obama has planned a Palin-style quarantine this week so his advisors can teach him how to pronounce Ahmadinejad. McCain doesn’t need to hide out and prepare. He knows his shit already.

    Obama..not prepared to debate..not willing to help solve the crisis…not ready to lead

  5. The other interpretation of these events is that the Republicans are going to sit around until McCain comes to Washington to get them to vote for the bill, allowing McCain to pretend that he brought the nation together over this legislation while Obama was studying foreign policy in Florida.
    This seems to me like another desperate tactic by McCain. There is no way this will work as well as the Palin move.

  6. RE: Write Wing,

    Your comments are embarrassing. Your support for McCain is equally absurd. I know you’re a smart person, but for some reason you pigeonhole yourself as this asinine Republican caricature who won’t admit that his candidate is old and unfit to lead with a second-in-command waiting in the wings whose mental capacity rivals only a child with down syndrome. Get over yourself and at least write-in libertarian, if not cast for Obama. McCain doesn’t represent the values that you espouse, so stop defending him.

  7. Re: Daedalus

    That’s not fair to The Write Wing at all. If you haven’t noticed, he has dodged every single substantive debate with me that started to go against him on this website. John McCain perfectly espouses his values.

  8. In case you were wondering: Sarah Palin was the siren who finally sung you all to ship wreck. Her performance with Couric tonight was nothing short of historic.

    It’s over. You don’t need to sink with the ship.

    You’re not in that deep.

  9. I commend the Write Wing for sticking to his guns and being a different voice on this site…we needs some more people with different opinions to keep the arguing entertaining. Thats why I am entitling next week: Adopt a Republican Week… and then teach them how to blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *