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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

McCain Goes Loco

Iram Martins
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 25, 2008

Where to even begin…

Last night, President George W. Bush helped to bail out Sen. John McCain following the latter’s erratic decision to suspend the campaign so he can come to Washington to help bail out Wall Street. Bush invited both candidates to the White House for a meeting with Congressional leaders for a discussion on how to deal with the financial crisis.

Meanwhile in New York, David Letterman was fuming over McCain’s decision to skip his scheduled appearance on the late-night program.

The talk show host spent a significant portion of the show riffing on McCain’s no-show…and then Letterman found out McCain was actually doing an interview with his CBS colleague Katie Couric after McCain had said he was rushing off to Washington.

Fortunately, the whole episode made for some good material.

While McCain was not appearing on Letterman, Sen. Lindsay Graham was telling CNN that McCain would not appear at Friday’s scheduled presidential debate in Oxford, Miss., if no deal had emerged yet from Capitol Hill on a Wall Street bailout package. You might be tempted to think, “Wow. McCain is really putting politics aside in order to get a deal. How presidential!”

However, Graham also suggested that if the first presidential debate had to be postponed, it should be rescheduled to take the place of the vice presidential debate next week in St. Louis.

Ah ha! The real motive comes out — and surprise, it is political!

Of course, yesterday Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin also gave an interview to CBS’ Katie Couric — the first installment of which aired last night on CBS Evening News, with more to come tonight and next week. So how did she do? You be the judge:

Palin is not exactly wowing the critics here.

You can see why the McCain campaign might have a clear interest in buying some more time before tossing her into the ring with a seasoned debater like Sen. Joe Biden. Unfortunately for the McCain camp, some Congressional leaders are assuring that a deal will be reached, possibly as early as today — so the question of whether to postpone any debates could all be academic.

Still, it remains to be seen how McCain’s frenetic behavior yesterday will affect his campaign. Marc Ambinder called it, “potentially fatal.” Time’s Mark Halperin hands Democrats the “easy win” for the week.

Whatever the final judgment, McCain may have raised serious questions about his demeanor this week.

Iram Martins | Personal trainer. Aspiring sommelier. Brunch critic who works part-time. When I'm not competing, you'll find me at dog beaches with my black lab or sipping drinks at the best bars in town. I like to fly a lot.

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