WOULD MCCAIN ‘SUSPEND’ AGAIN?…. John McCain appeared on “Fox & Friends” this morning, where he appeared open to the idea of “suspending” his presidential campaign (it’s tempting to say “again,” but we know McCain never actually suspended anything).

Steve Doocy got the ball rolling with some odd commentary, crediting McCain personally for focusing Americans’ attention on the Wall Street crisis, and improving the bill for Republicans. He seemed to urge McCain to stop campaigning, so he can “emerge the leader.”

“I’ll do whatever I can do to make this thing work,” McCain responded, adding, “I will put my presidential campaign on the back burner if necessary and do anything.”

When confronted with the fact that the crisis has worsened since McCain’s initial so-called “suspension,” McCain responded, “I’ll do whatever is necessary and whatever my Republican colleagues in the administration and others ask me to do to help.” He then bashed Barack Obama for a while on issues unrelated to the Wall Street crisis.

McCain also mentioned at least twice that Congress isn’t doing anything today because of a religious holiday. This, of course, led me to wonder why McCain wouldn’t want to take advantage of this break to help work towards an agreement.

To be sure, I realize there’s no genuine reason for McCain to suspend his campaign. If he did, it wouldn’t make any substantive difference. That McCain would even entertain the idea of putting his campaign “on the back burner” only helps reinforce the notion that he’s pretty far gone.

For that matter, last week’s gimmick did nothing to help his campaign, and most voters saw through the transparency of McCain’s craven tactics.

That said, it is kind of interesting to see McCain struggle with a basic question: if it was necessary to “suspend” last week, why is it unnecessary this week? The longer it takes for McCain to come up with a compelling answer to that question, the worse his judgment appears.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.