John McCain förklarade igår att han skulle avblåsa allt kampanjande och åka till Washington för att försöka lösa den ekonomiska krisen - där Vita Huset hamnat i konflikt med kongressen över hur det ekonomiska hjälppaketet ska se ut. McCain uppmanade Obama att göra samma sak, och kom med det högst häpnandsväckande förslaget att man skulle avblåsa kampanjen och skjuta på den inplanerade presidentdebatten imorgon - för att man istället skulle kunna ägna sig åt att lösa krisen.
Den idén var Obama mycket skeptisk till. Men förslaget ger McCain ett tillfälle att visa att han kan ta kommando i en nationell ekonomisk kris - samt ställer Obama som sa nej till förslaget i en situation där denne kan utmålas på ett sätt som antyder att han inte sätter "Nationen först". Beroende på hur saker och ting utvecklas, så kan detta förslag - som ingen förväntade - ge McCain stora fördelar. Men det innebär också en stor risk - men det är ett spel, som Mavericken McCain inte verkar ha något emot att spela.
Så här låter några nyhetskommentarer om McCains utspel:
John Dickerson skriver i sin artikel "Stunt Man John McCain's latest crazy, brilliant, desperate campaign tactic":
John McCain has launched his second Hail Mary pass in a month. On Wednesday he called for a suspension of the presidential campaign—no events, no ads, and no debate Friday—so that he and Barack Obama can head to Washington to forge a bipartisan solution. Even more than his selection of Sarah Palin as running mate, this gambit feels like a wild improvisation someone in the McCain team mapped out on his chest: OK, you run to the fire hydrant, cut left, and then when he gets to the Buick, John, you heave it.
It's not clear what, exactly, McCain is going to do in Washington. He doesn't sit on any of the relevant committees, and everyone is already deep in negotiations. Still, he's coming anyway.
...It's hard to believe that McCain's actions would pass his own laugh test. In fact, he's often snickered at his fellow senators who come in at the eleventh hour to lend a hand after McCain has done the hard work. But the McCain campaign is past caring about how journalists (or colleagues) view his moves. He hopes the rest of the country will see this as a leadership moment.
...McCain's maneuver might look phony—but then, he and Obama have been engaging in phony activities since this financial crisis hit. Both candidates have been huddling with economic brains, as if they were already a government in waiting. They've both tried to act in ways that help voters see them as competent crisis managers.
Whether McCain's crazy gambit is seen as desperate or brilliant, it doesn't matter. Either way, it's probably not the last. The beneficial effects of the Palin Hail Mary lasted only a few weeks, and another adrenaline injection was needed. If this one doesn't work, that's OK—in due time they can try another razzle-dazzle play. And if it does work, that's great—in due time they can still try another razzle-dazzle play. It all makes the prospect of a McCain White House very exciting. So exciting, he might want to schedule periodic suspensions of his presidency to get anything done.
Och William Kristol skriver i sin artikel "A presidential McCain" följande:
McCain's action Wednesday--announcing he would come back to Washington to try to broker a deal to save our financial system--could prove so important. The rescue package that was so poorly crafted and defended by the Bush administration seemed to be sliding toward defeat. The presidential candidates were on the sidelines, carping and opining and commenting. But one of them, John McCain, intervened suddenly and boldly, taking a risk in order to change the situation, and to rearrange the landscape.
Of course his motives were partly election-related. But "the interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place." If candidate McCain, for whatever mixed motives, ends up acting in a way that results in a deal
that is viewed as better than the original proposal, and that seems to stabilize the markets and avert a meltdown--he'll benefit politically, and he deserves to. For McCain will have acted presidentially in the campaign--which some voters, quite reasonably, will think speaks to his qualifications to be president.
As for the question of Friday night's debate, which some in the media seem to think more important than saving the financial system--if the negotiations are still going on in D.C., McCain should offer to send Palin to debate Obama! Or he can take a break from the meetings, fly down at the last minute himself, and turn a boring foreign policy debate, in which he and Obama would repeat well-rehearsed arguments, into a discussion about leadership and decisiveness. And if the negotiations are clearly on a path to success, then McCain can say he can now afford to leave D.C., fly down, and the debate would become a victory lap for McCain.
Förmodligen kommer debatten inte att skjutas upp eftersom Obama inte vill skjuta upp den. Men det kommer att kunna ge McCain gott om ammunition som han kan använda sig av för att i bokstavlig bemärkelse, skjuta med.