In craven political move, McCain suspends campaign over economic crisis

I just got a twitter alert from CNN that John McCain has suspended campaigning to work on the economy, and asked Barack Obama to postpone Friday’s debate and do the same. Interesting request, considering McCain’s top advisors helped get us into this mess. If he really wants to fix the economy McCain should start with some pruning of his own backyard.

On Sunday the New York Times documented that “Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations.” He also pulled a Sarah Palin today by skipping a lunch event with reporters. The excuse? He would be “heading out on the trail.” But wait, I thought they decided to halt campaigning?

In any case, it’s great to hear that cCain wants this guy to stop managing the campaign and instead spend all his time working on a fix for the economy. I can’t wait to see what the Fannie and Freddie lobbyist comes up with.

Then there’s Sen. Phil Gramm, who only a few months ago assured us we just made up this whole economic problem thing and we’d become a “nation of whiners.” While Gramm officially stepped down from the McCain campaign following those comments, a spokesmen just this week refused to rule him out as a possible Treasury Secretary should McCain win.

But an OpEd in the that bastion of conservatism, The Wall Street Journal, makes a good point. For McCain to really understand what’s going on in the economy, “many of the relevant witnesses are friends or colleagues of his. In fact, he can probably get to the bottom of the whole mess just by cross-examining the people riding on his campaign bus.” So really, McCain would almost have to stop campaigning in order for these people to have any time to answer questions about how this crisis came about.

Thank goodness McCain has decided to take some time off from this whole campaigning thing to work on the economy. I only have one question: Why don’t you start by firing your inner circle?

One more thing. Strategically speaking, what a load of jackassery from McCain. According to CNN, the Obama campaign said they called McCain at 8:30 a.m. this morning to work on an economic joint statement of “shared principles and conditions.” McCain’s campaign called back to say “OK” after 2:00 p.m., just a few minutes before he publicly called on Obama to do the right thing and postpone the debate. That kept Obama on the hook all day and prevented him from making his own call for some joint leadership on the issue.

That’s the difference between these two candidates: Obama worked behind the scenes to actually make some progress on solving the crisis, while McCain tried to score political points.

Colorado Independent’s blogumnist (blogger-columnist) Jeff Bridges has worked in Democratic politics for the last 10 years, serving as communications director for two congressional races in Colorado and two governor’s races in the Deep South. Bridges also worked as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C., with a focus on military and small-business issues.


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