Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 25, 2008

WHAT DOES A 'SUSPENDED' CAMPAIGN LOOK LIKE?.... Just this morning, in New York, John McCain was pretty straightforward about his perspective on the campaign: "I cannot carry on a campaign as though this dangerous situation had not occurred, or as though a solution were at hand, which it clearly is not. As of this morning I suspended my political campaign."

Got it. So, what does a "suspended" campaign look like? As it turns out, it's eerily similar to a regular ol' campaign.

What have we learned since McCain suspended his presidential campaign?

* McCain campaign offices in battleground states are open and operating, just like yesterday.

* McCain's television ads are on the air, just like yesterday.

* McCain media flacks are all over the news networks, just like yesterday.

* McCain's campaign staffers are working, just like yesterday.

* McCain's campaign website is up, soliciting contributions and promoting McCain's message, just like yesterday.

* For the big White House meeting today, Barack Obama was told not to bring any campaign aides, so he's bringing a legislative assistant from his Senate staff. John McCain is bringing a campaign advisor.

I don't want to alarm anyone, but I get the sinking feeling that maybe, just maybe, the "suspension" announcement was some kind of (gasp!) gimmick, and that nothing has actually changed at McCain Campaign HQ.

Steve Benen 3:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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Comments

What? A gimmick? No Way!! Not Johnny Mac. LMAO

Posted by: Eric on September 25, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Can we just disqualify McInsane and move on?

Posted by: Tang on September 25, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

The "suspended" campaign only means that McCain can duck the debate, because, you know, his campaign is suspended

Posted by: Ethel-To-Tilly on September 25, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Check that last point about McCain bringing a campaign advisor. I believe the advisor has been bounced from the meeting.

Posted by: FrankL on September 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

HOW DARE YOU! HE WAS A P.O.W!

Posted by: rob! on September 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

McSham's Campain Adviser has been bounced.

Posted by: Dave in Austin on September 25, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the advisor has been bounced from the meeting.

Which would mean that Bush has more integrity than McCain. That's really bad.

Posted by: tomeck on September 25, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's kind of like when I was quitting smoking and my brain would try and trick me. I'd say to myself "Well it's okay to have a smoke, you quit smoking. You aren't a SMOKER, so you can have a smoke" or "Well I did really well with not smoking today, so when I get home I'm going to reward myself with a cigarette."

Same kind of cognitive dissonance.

(well either that, or he's lying - like my brain was)

Posted by: neilt on September 25, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

This was done to distract attention from the disastrous Palin/Couric interview. Nothing more. That's also why McCain cancelled Letterman and went on with Couric - to redraw attention away from Palin.

How sick and sad this whole charade is. And the crazy conservatives have smeared Obama as the "Manchurian candidate"???!!!!! Wow.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 25, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm beginning to think McCain's request for bipartisanship was just a stunt. After announcements that a deal had been struck in principal, Richard Shelby went on CNN holding a pile of papers, claiming that Republicans had not agreed to anything and that he had in his hand letters from six economists saying that the new proposal wouldn't work. When asked specifically why, he gave three reasons including bailouts for foreign banks (I doubt that was a Dem request) and the increase in the deficit. I don't remember the other one. But it's hard to believe anyone would have claimed an agreement without Shelby being included in it.

Posted by: Danp on September 25, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

It was all a stunt so he could cancel on Letterman!

Posted by: doubtful on September 25, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

SHHHHH! You'll wake the media.

Posted by: John McCain: Worse than Bush on September 25, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

What is the possibility that Bush will try to keep Obama in Washington through the weekend?

I also wonder what happened to McCain's request to allow five days from publication of the bill and any vote on it, and also that the text is on-line so everyone can read it.

Posted by: tomj on September 25, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I am waiting for him to announce the suspension of the election, and Bush appointing McCain as his successor in a Signing Statement attached to the Universal Bailout Bill. All controls and oversight will be reversed in the Signing Statement, and life will proceed as usual. snark/
In all honesty, I do trust in a Power for Good that underlies and intertwines all that is going on right now. The purging of the deception, greed, corruption and fear is happening even as the negotiations are conducted. This is not an End of Times prediction; it is a recognition of Universal Principles that operate through and supercede any human-devised laws in contradiction of the Higher Power. This is not religious, it is Universal.
I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 25, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

But I ask- didn't the stunt work?...The media has dropped coverage of Rick Davis' disastrous ties to Fannie and Freddie and Palin's trainwreck with CBS is going widely unreported...In the end, we will have the debate and McCain was able to change the subject for a couple of days...

Posted by: on September 25, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

But didn't the gimmick work?...The debate will go on as planned and McCain changed the subject off of Davis' disastrous ties to Fannie and Freddie and the Palin CBS interview trainwreck...

Posted by: C.J. Roses on September 25, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

He meant that he -- individually -- has suspended his own personal campaigning. That doesn't mean that everyone else on the payroll can stop working.

Posted by: smiley on September 25, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

It just dawned on me that McCain picked a TV weather-girl as his running-mate: she's cute, perky, can read from a teleprompter well, and that's it.

Posted by: Speed on September 25, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I'm confident that Obama could mop the floor with McCain even after a three day bender, I don't have high hopes for the debate after reading this. Oh how far public broadcasting has fallen.

"You will have to wait and see. Each one of these things has a life of its own and I'm a long way from a decision about what I'm going to ask exactly." And he framed his role as one of political tour guide rather than referee. For instance, when asked whether it was the moderator's responsibility to call a candidate on a blatant lie, Lehrer said no.

"It is the responsibility of the other candidates," he said. "It is not an interview. This is not a journalism exercise, this is a debate exercise. And the moderator is there to enforce the rules. And to ask questions obviously. But it is up to the - the whole point of the exercise is to get the candidates to respond and do the talking."

Great. If McCain spouts a known lie, he gets a pass unless Obama calls him on it, which then looks like a he said/she said to the public because Lehrer's just going to sit on his hands. Asshole.

Posted by: Jeff II on September 25, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Can we call it disbelief of suspension?

Posted by: Ponto on September 25, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

When a maverick suspends a campaign, his very maverickness keeps the campaign rolling along without him! That's how good John Q. McCain is!

Posted by: chrenson on September 25, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Are we on this blog smarter than 70% of the citizens of this country? and 80% of the people who report the campaign activities? (I just made up the #s, but that seems to be acceptable to the majority) We can see the absolute absurdity of the statements made by McCain and Palin and their handlers/surrogates, yet they are still taken seriously by most of the media and thus the people who depend on them for their information. What will it take for truth to expose the insanity? As I said earlier, I have to continue to trust in the prevalance of Good and Truth, knowing that Universal Principles, even greater than natural laws such as gravity, always prevail.
I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 25, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Head fake. Politico is calling the gambit: Brilliant.

Posted by: EL on September 25, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain is THE Maverick not just a Maverick. He's taken shots from both sides over the years.


Posted by: grinning cat on September 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Naw. Really?

That's what I thought when I saw a McCain ad on TV this morning ...

Dude's got his Depends on fire ...

Posted by: charlotte on September 25, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

McCain, "It depends on what the meaning of 'suspended' is."

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on September 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Are we on this blog smarter than 70% of the citizens of this country? and 80% of the people who report the campaign activities? Posted by: st john

Except for the trolls, yes.

Posted by: Jeff II on September 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Its not his campaign that is suspended, its his trouser.

Steve - next thing you will be telling us that there's no Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or Easter Bunny at all.

Orange Power forever!

Posted by: sduffys on September 25, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

This is perfectly consistent conduct for Lying Pig McCain.

Posted by: CT on September 25, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

John's website is blank.

McCain's website is blank.

There is nothing there.

He is a man of his word.

I think it's a great time for Obama's webmasters to go into hyper-drive and make his website THE place to be while John's is blank.

Can you ever remember a time when a campaign's website just "blipped" out.

I was hoping to buy some golf gear. Darn

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

To McCain suspending the campaign amounts to do his job.

Posted by: ScottW on September 25, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

The "suspension" is a twofer in McCain specialties: it's both a gimmick and a lie.

Posted by: KCinDC on September 25, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

At the risk of a double post, here's mostly what I put on the next thread up since it sure does belong here:

What matters crucially here is: to clear up the pre-suspension activity and timeline. Like, who called who and suggested just what, etc. I've heard lots about it but do we really have a clear, objective scoop?

I can see how many saw Letterman last night. Wow, was he brutal on McCain for canceling his show! I think Letterman's best line, approx: Wait, you don't have to suspend your campaign, just because of whatever coming up - you let your VP candi take over! So, Sarah Palin should have filled in for John that night, etc. (Letterman should get whatever he wants at the next big Democrats fling! INSTST, but so what, he deserves it ...)

Well! So let's support the hell out of McCan't's "campaign suspension" but just tell him: we expect Sarah Palin to be your stand in! She must go to the debates, attend press conferences, interviews, unscripted public Q&A, etc, just like you'd be expected to do! (If not more and better, to make up for the snub ...)

Then Olbermann came over, it was great. They cut to McCain talking to my little former classmate Katie, saying it was live (I suppose it was, he did have an interview with her that day, and showing McCain getting the face powder - what a scoop) so I guess McCain hadn't fully suspended, huh?

Letterman's Top Ten was great, from
http://lateshow.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/top_ten/index/php/20080924.phtml and formatted best I can. Top and bottom are the best IMHO:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Top Ten Questions People Are Asking the John McCain Campaign

"I just contributed to your campaign -- how do I get a refund?"
"It's Sarah Palin -- does this mean I'm Pars'dent?"
"Can't you solve this by selling some of your homes?"
"Hi, this is Clay Aiken. Is McCain single?"
"Do you still think the fundamentals of our economy are strong, genius?"
"Are you doing all this just to get out of going on Letterman?"
"What would Matlock do?"
"Hillary here -- my schedule is free Friday night"
"Is this just an excuse to catch up on napping?"
"This is President Bush -- what's all this trouble with the economy?"

Posted by: Neil B on September 25, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of what a suspended campaign looks like - some here have said, McCain's campaign website is "blank". Well, there's plenty to see at http://www.johnmccain.com/, so what did you mean? Did it go blank and change back, or did you mean a separate website?

Posted by: Neil B on September 25, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's next stump speech: "My friends, as you know, I'm not really here. It may look like I'm standing right in front of you, but in fact I'm actually in Washington right now. I've suspended my campaign, so I'm not actually here telling you why you should vote for me. The reason you should vote for me, by the way, is that right now I'm in Washington, where I'm solving all of our nation's problems as well as anticipating and taking preventive actions against all future crises.

"My rival, Senator Obama, has said that the President needs to be able to do more than one thing at a time, but he clearly lacks the experience to physically be in more than one place at the same time. And if you wonder how it is that I'm able to be in more than one place at a time, may I remind you of the five and a half years I spent in one place--a North Vietnamese prison cell."

Posted by: Stephen Stralka on September 25, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Neil B. 5:21

Weird. I guess I was looking for the website at the very moment it was blank. I am not joking. There was nothing there.

Now I have to scan it to see what was changed/upgraded.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 25, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Just for shits n giggles:

I went on the McCain site, went to Contact Us, and shot them a question asking why, if he has suspended the campaign, taking contributions and making political appearances. I suggest others to do the same.

Posted by: Katie on September 25, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Consider another angle, that McCain has declared the crisis to be of historic proportions and that he must rush back to DC to help hammer-out a solution.

If his involvement was so urgent, why did McCain wait until late Thursday morning to return to DC, sitting for an interview w/ Katie Couric on Wednesday and speaking to the Clinton Global Initiative on Thursday morning?

If this disconnect between actions and the stated urgency seems familiar, picture John McCain carrying around a copy of 'My Pet Goat'.

So it's one or the other, either McCain failed to respond with the urgency he declared necessary, or it's an obvious political gimmick.

Posted by: plooger on September 25, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Give him a break.

It's kind of like starting a diet...
I'll stay off TV and hunker down in my office... um......... TOMORROW!

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on September 25, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

You must be deliberately misunderstanding the intent. The campaign is suspended, and so all campaign-related activities from here on are subject to a "do-over".

Posted by: Daniel Kim on September 26, 2008 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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