McCain ‘suspends’ campaigning?

MCCAIN ‘SUSPENDS’ CAMPAIGNING?…. It’s not at all unreasonable to wonder if there’s just something wrong with John McCain.

McCain suspends his campaign, and asks to postpone Friday’s debate, to address the financial crisis.

Both candidates have been marginal players; McCain, though, seems to have the potential to make himself a major one, and his move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn’t like the way this campaign is going.

But in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that’s changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.

Apparently, as McCain sees it, 10 days after the Wall Street crisis began, now he wants to head back to Capitol Hill to do some work. Of course, lawmakers and administration officials have been working quite a bit, but McCain, who has played no direct role in the negotiations thus far, wants to swoop in and tell everyone what they need to do. This from a man who hasn’t shown up for work at all in literally months.

What’s more, after whining incessantly for months about the need for one-on-one debates, McCain has decided, just 48 hours before the first official debate, that everything should be postponed. And Barack Obama should go along with all of this, because McCain says so.

I’ve never even heard of a presidential candidate acting in such a reckless, compulsive, and ultimately haphazard fashion. McCain just decided to “suspend” campaign activities? This rivals picking Sarah Palin for the ticket on the list of desperation moves.

McCain spoke at some length yesterday about the nature of the economic crisis, and what he’d like to see happen. But at the time, it apparently never occurred to him to get actually get involved in the process. That is, until today.

The Republican nomination has apparently gone to some kind of man-child who believes stunts and gimmicks are the way to the White House. It is nothing short of breathtaking to see someone so manifestly unserious seek the highest office in the land.

The moment the winds shifted and Obama had a growing lead in the polls, it’s time to suspend the campaign. Good lord, McCain really does think voters are idiots.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.