Statesmanship vs. Gamesmanship.

As I write this, Senator McCain has just announced he is suspending his Presidential campaign, in order to go to Washington D.C., so he can vote on the economic bailout package. He’s challenged Obama to do the same.

This is a bloody brilliant move from the McCain camp.

Here’s what’s significant:

  • McCain is acting as a stateman, putting the interests of the country ahead of his own self-interests and the interests of his party.
  • McCain has painted Obama into a corner – if he follows McCain’s lead, he’s a follower and not a leader. If he refuses, he’ll be seen as putting his own interests ahead of the Nation’s.
  • McCain has effectively grabbed the momentum on the economy away from Obama. Coincidentally, this is the issue that polls say was swaying independent voters back towards Obama.
  • Unspoken in all this, Biden will have to return to Washington, too. That leaves Governor Palin who could keep campaigning, should Obama not agree to the suspension.

This is the boldest, gutsiest thing I’ve seen a candidate do in years. McCain has a well-deserved reputation for doing the bold thing. This is a shining example of this.

In response to reporters’ questions to the Obama campaign, their campaign’s spokesman insists that THEY called the McCain campaign this morning, to suggest they craft a unified response to the issue. Methinks that’s a pretty convenient statement, but doesn’t get them out of the woods. Far from it. McCain has put Obama on his heels, with no room to maneuver. McCain, in the meantime, does the stateman-like thing, and looks good doing it.

Will the debate get rescheduled? Will the bill pass? Will Obama find a way to recover from this masterstroke?

Stay tuned…

Leave a Reply