Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama turned the tables on John McCain’s call to delay the debate on Friday by saying that people need to hear from their leaders right now, and called for Friday’s debate to go on as scheduled.
Obama said that this is the time when people need to hear from the candidates the most, “This is exactly the time the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible with dealing with this mess.”
Obama believes that the negotiations should not be infused with presidential politics, and that he that he will be in Washington if he can be helpful, “What I’ve told the leadership in Congress is that if I can be helpful then I am prepared to be anywhere, anytime. What I think is important is that we don’t suddenly infuse Capitol Hill with presidential politics…”
Obama also took a jab at McCain twice by saying that presidents need to be able to do more than one thing at a time, “Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time. It’s not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else.” This is a stunt by the McCain which is designed to allow McCain to run ads that claim that Obama puts politics over country.
I am a little surprised because I thought that Obama might agree to postpone the debate, but he has decided to play hardball and call McCain’s bluff. After hearing Obama’s side, I do believe that since President Bush has been invisible on this issue, until tonight, somebody has to fill the leadership vacuum. It seems like the McCain campaign is so afraid to debate the economy that they are willing to take a gamble in order to turn our attention away from the economy and back to the issue of character.
My big question about McCain’s position is that he is constantly touting how unpopular he is with his fellow Congressional Republicans, but these same Republicans are the people holding up passage of the bill. If McCain is so unpopular, and such a maverick, how is his presence in Washington going to help pass the bill, it really does make McCain look not like a leader, but someone who is trying to duck the debate.
McCain would have credibility if he had a consistent position on the bailout, or even spoke about the economy. The reality is that McCain was trying to change the subject, but Obama saw through it and avoided the trap. The Republicans will sell this as leadership, but McCain is a candidate who is floundering. He can try to change the subject, but McCain isn’t showing leadership, only political desperation.