Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Noun, a Verb and a Gimmick

In an act of utter political desperation, driven by naked personal ambition, John McCain has suddenly 'suspended' his campaign, called on Barack Obama to do the same and announced he wants to delay the presidential debate scheduled for this Friday.  The public excuse he offers for these dramatic actions is to allow the two presidential candidates to go to Washington so they can focus on crafting a bailout plan for the financial industry.  

Oh really, Mr. McCain? It has nothing to do with a raft of new polls in recent days showing that your campaign is coming apart at the seams? Nothing to do with how tired, confused and erratic you've looked and sounded on the campaign trail lately? Nothing to do with the burgeoning scandals plaguing your campaign? Nothing to do with the fact that you can't allow your running-mate out of the house without adult supervision? Really?

Or is it, Mr. McCain, that you just can't do more than one thing at a time,? I've got a news flash for you: Presidents often have to juggle multiple problems simultaneously...  and sometimes several very serious problems at that. Lincoln ran a presidential campaign (1864) in the middle of the Civil War. FDR ran for President twice (1932 and 1936) in the midst of the Great Depression and once (1944) in the middle of World War II. What's your problem, Mr. McCain? Are you just not up to the job? 

No, Mr. McCain, this won't do. Your suggestion just won't wash. Be a man and admit the truth. This ploy is just one more gimmick - like the 'drill here, drill now' scheme, the faux concern about Hurricane Ike during the RNC, the selection of a totally unqualified and unexpected VP candidate and the reckless call to fire the head of the SEC as a fix for the Wall Street meltdown. All of them were gimmicks and all were designed with only one goal in mind: to get you elected President. Just raw, cynical political ambition - nothing more.

Barack Obama just held a press conference. He told us the truth while looking and sounding very presidential in the process. He knows this campaign must continue. He's willing to do what it takes to fix the mess on Wall Street while protecting taxpayers' interests, but he is unwilling to suspend the most important election campaign in a generation. Above all, he knows that we deserve presidential candidates who can manage a crisis and present their views to the American people at the same time. It's called leadership.

Enough with the gimmicks, John McCain!

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