This morning, John McCain hit the morning shows in the wake of new polls which showed definite gains for Senator Obama. Among them was the uber-friendly waters of Fox News, where he did an interview that included a lot of tail-kissing and very questionable interpretations of his actions last week.
McCain answered with a scripted response (I know it was scripted because every time they asked him another question he started over with "I'll do whatever is necessary..." and repeated his talking points. It happened no less than three times.) that basically said that he would do it if it would help.
Help what? Barack Obama? Because that is all the last time accomplished. And how is he gonna suspend his campaign this time? Hey, Jay Leno! Do you have McCain on your schedule this week? Better call Keith Olberman and see if he can sub.
Because the only thing that John McCain suspended last week was appearing on David Letterman's show. His offices were all open. His advisers and subordinates were all out hitting the news shows. He gave an interview to Katie Couric at the time he was supposed to be talking to Dave, then gave a speech the next day, then finally showed up in Washington just barely in time for his photo op at the White House. Then all he did was shut up and look interested for the photographers until the very end, at which point he opened his mouth to present an alternative plan that had already been explored and condemned by Secretary Paulson, Warren Buffet and pretty much every person of financial knowledge willing to state an opinion.
Oh, except for Sen. Phil Gramm, his top financial adviser. The one who called America a nation of whiners. The one whose name is on the legislation that helped get us to this point. Yeah, that's credible. Next on McCain's agenda is apparently a conference with Britney Spears on how to keep his life calm and on track under media scrutiny.
Unless, of course, The campaign suspension really was what some have floated. A feint aimed at getting Barack to flinch and allow the first debate to be re-scheduled for this Thursday. Thereby bumping the Vice-Presidential debate off the schedule. Thereby keeping Sarah Palin from being exposed.
Obviously, that can not be accomplished now. We know the McCain camp is scared about Thursday. We know it because they have been out hitting the media in all shapes and forms over the last three days, attempting to lower expectations for Palin. It's actually a very wise strategy. The more everyone expects her to get her bell rung, the better she looks if she doesn't wilt under pressure. At this point, with how badly she is expected to fail, simply not fainting on stage is going to win her plaudits from the media and cause Fox News to proclaim her the victor.
Are they really so worried that they would suspend the campaign to cancel the debate outright? If so, they are going to disappoint an awful lot of people.
Especially the writers at Saturday Night Live.