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McCain Cancels DC Trip « The Washington Independent

Sen. John McCain was expected to fly to Washington later today, so he could take part in talks surrounding a new Wall Street bailout package when Congress comes back from its break for Rosh Hashana.

However, Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports that McCain has changed his plans. The GOP nominee is instead flying to Kansas City, Mo., tonight, presumably to campaign.

It might be worthwhile to recall what McCain said when he announced that he would “suspend” his campaign last week, to participate in negotiations on the bill that failed yesterday.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday nights debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.

McCain also said repeatedly that it was not his style to “phone it in.”

The obvious question is: what has changed?

There is clearly no deal imminent on Capitol Hill. Is McCain indicating that the issue has lost some saliency?

Either McCain has now decided that campaigning is more important than hunkering down to solve the crisis; or he is tacitly acknowledging that his presence in Washington is of no particular benefit.

Either way, one must wonder how serious McCain was when he made such dramatic statements last week.

UPDATE: Both presidential nominees are expected to return to Washington Wednesday evening for a Senate vote on the bailout plan.

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