I guess the consensus is that McCain is making a not very smart bet with this $700B move. I'll just note that, whatever else it is, his decision to "suspend" his campaign and rush to the sort of rescue is a genuine reflection of McCain's temperament and as good an indicator as any of what kind of president he'd be: impulsive, active, involved, somewhat immune to advice.
"Active"? "Involved"? As of Tuesday, McCain still hadn't bothered to read Paulson's three-page bailout proposal. Yesterday afternoon, he claimed he was "suspending" his campaign to focus on the bailout negotions. Yet he took his time getting back to Washington to do so -- long enough that an agreement seems to have been reached without him.
That's what counts as "involved" these days?
Today's headline: "Fundraisers for McCain bring in pork."
As Daily Kos diarist PA mnon notes, the usually dependably conservative Times takes a very tough look at at the campaign's rhetoric.
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, interviewing Sen. Claire McCaskill about the proposed bailout: "I'm talking politics and strategy, not good governance."
Ok ... when is MSNBC going to get around to the "good governance" part?
The noteworthy thing about this Ann Coulter headline is not that she's referencing one of the most noxious political ads of all time in order to stroke resentment of African Americans during a political campaign featuring the first African American major-party presidential nominee. That kind of behavior is pretty much par for the course from Coulter.
The noteworthy thing about the headline is that Ann Coulter is so eager - desperate, even - to do so that she makes the false and nonsensical suggestion that banks have spent the past several years handing out too few mortgages. That the problem is that qualified borrowers were not able to obtain a mortgage.
Or, how the McCain camp has gone all in trying to eliminated the press from the campaign process. Jonathan Chait at TNR in "Liar's Poker":
After years of portraying him as a uniquely honorable figure in American politics, the national press corps has started to take note of his brazen distortions, a development that may threaten his most precious asset. But we should consider an alternate possibility. Suppose that McCain has committed himself, with the Palin pick, to running a campaign centered around mobilizing the Republican base. He has enjoyed clear success with this since the Palin pick, attracting larger crowds, drawing higher fund-raising totals, and even seeing dramatically higher numbers of voters identifying themselves as Republicans in polls.
If this is McCain's strategy, then a bunch of news reports debunking his claims isn't going to hurt. Indeed it may even help.
P.S. Chait asserts, "McCain's untruths, in their frequency and their audacity, defy any modern historical precedent."
Really? We're pretty sure we could make a compelling case that in 2004 and 2000 George Bush was just as liberal with his campaign trail lies. But for some reason back then, the press didn't think it was its job to fact-check the GOP falsehoods.
John McCain just said "As of this morning I suspended my political campaign." The news media continues to uncritically report that he has done so. (Current CNN chyron: "McCain speaks at Global Initiative; suspending campaign to work on bailout.")
Well, is he, really? Are his campaign offices around the country empty? Are his campaign staff and volunteers at home, catching up on their laundry? Is his web page rejecting attempted contributions?
"Suspended my campaign" isn't a vague phrase; it means something very specific. It means his campaign has stopped. If it isn't true, he's lying, and it exposes this whole thing as nothing more than a political stunt -- a political stunt designed to portray him as above politics.
But the media doesn't even seem to be trying to determine whether the campaign is actually suspended. They're just accepting it.
UPDATE: McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds is currently on MSNBC. A few minutes ago, Nancy Pfotenhauer was on FOX. In neither case has the anchor asked the McCain spokesperson why s/he is going on television if the campaign is "suspended."
Eric Alterman dissects Wednesday's McCain's leaning edition of ABC's daily tip sheet.
The Beltway daily this afternoon posted a round-up of reactions to McCain's demand that Friday's debate be delayed. The first 31 paragraphs of the article are filled with, frankly, predictable quotes from partisans either backing McCain or questioning his maneuver, which gave readers the impression that people were truly divided over the issue.
What came in paragraphs 32-34? Reference to instant polling data that showed the public by a huge margin said delaying Friday's debate would be a mistake. i.e. "Roughly three out of every four Americans think the debate should go on as scheduled."
Note to editors: That's tonight's headline.