1) Economic crisis
2) McCain intends to vote against the bailout to say he has distanced himself from Bush, but discretely he is hoping against hope that the bill will pass without his vote.
3) The democrats in congress stated behind closed doors that without McCain's AYE vote, this bill will not pass. they aren't going to let him play plotics on the issue, the entire congress needs to have some unanimity in this.
4) McCain holds out, knowing he can't vote against it or it dies, and he can't vote yes because it will sink his campaign.
5) Obama presses the congressional position directly to McCain in an attempt to shore up support for the bailout. He offered a chance for both candidates to express their support without taking partisan advantage of either position, and to show solidarity.
6) McCain's campaign knew that they have to support the bailout, as opposing it will be catastrophic. However, allowing Obama to take the lead won't play well for McCain, so he agrees to accept the joint statement that congressional democrats are demanding.
7) McCain tries to preempt Obama on the issue to seize on the spotlight and take the mantle of leadership on the issue, even though he was really grudgingly going along. He makes the bold moves of offering to suspend the campaign and postponing the debates to further his attempts to seize on the leadership.
8) Obama destroys McCain's leadership grab in the press conference by showing it was HIM that offered McCain the joint statement offer, and that McCain jumped the gun by making unilateral moves well beyond what they had discussed. Obama intends to carry on the campaign and the debates.
Both men have gambled greatly in the last 24 hours, but McCain got a worse flop that Obama. In the end, I prognosticate that the debates will go forward, and McCain's unilateral ad suspension will end on Saturday, sharp! Ending it before then makes him seem a waffler, and not showing up at the debates makes him seem a coward, particularly since all public opinion seems to indicate that we the people want the debates to go forward. Corner, meet McCain holding a brush.
Books will be written about the events of the last 24 hours.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
An Oberver's Timeline of Today's Events
A commenter at fivethirtyeight.com, shadowguidex, summarizes events nicely, clearly ascribing to the political cynicism explanation of this nonsense (which I do as well):