Thanks for All the Hard Work I Did

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As Matt Welch pointed out yesterday, this isn't the first time John McCain "suspended his campaign" to get out front on an unfolding crisis. He did it with Kosovo, and he did it last summer when he returned to the Senate to bat away Democratic bills that hamstrung funding for the surge. In neither case did it hurt him. In both cases, it boosted him. That explains the political thinking behind his latest stunt. The policy thinking, though? I mean, is there any? Does McCain need to be in Washington to personally solve the problem and cast a deciding vote.

It's not clear that he does. The conservatives at Newsbusters point to a CBS News report as evidence that McCain needed to parachute into the Capitol, guns-a-blazin', knife in his teeth.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Sen. Lindsey Graham yesterday that the bailout plan would fail unless McCain came in and brought balky Republicans aboard.

But that's not exactly what Bob Scheiffer said.

Paulson then called, according to my sources, Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close to John McCain, and told him: you've got to get the people in the McCain campaign, you've got to convince John McCain to give these Republicans some political cover. If you don't do that, this whole bailout plan is going to fail.

My emphasis. One, Paulson didn't (at least in this account) ask for McCain to come to Washington. Two, all McCain needed to do was allow Republicans the wiggle room to support a bailout that would inevitably be massaged by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. McCain could have done that from a press conference in SpaceShipOne.

What actually happened this week were Democrats and the White House staring each other down, a rump of Republicans protesting any bailout, and a majority of the Congress slowly getting behind a deal. It wasn't bogged down until 3 p.m. yesterday. The effect of McCain's decision seems to be… lots of Republicans praising John McCain.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, also praised McCain's announcement.

"He is saying, I am an American first and a Republican second," Hensarling said. "So God bless him for that…It clearly shows what kind of a leader he would be."

Other Republican leaders also praised McCain. 

"Senator McCain's announcement that he will return to Washington to confront the economic crisis facing our nation is a testament to the fact that John McCain is a guy who would rather be part of the solution than runaway from the fight," said House Minority Whip Roy Blunt.

As I typed this up, I saw McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer on Fox News—her of the "suspended" McCain campaign—attacking Barack Obama for not feeling a similar flush of country first-ness.

NEXT: Boobus Americanus (Thank God!) Says Boo on Bailout Plans!

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  1. You should have seen Julio Lugo hugging people and spraying champagne when the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth Tuesday night.

    Yay! We did it! We did it! Ya-hoooooo!!!

    Uh, yeah. Nice job, Julio.

  2. I’d say they’re the NEOcons at NewsBusters, even though they hate to admit it, dislike the word, etc. They’re NOT tolerant of fiscal conservatives when it comes to their own favored pork, and a number of them are hysterical about Ron Paul, even as it becomes increasingly-obvious that Dr. Paul was — like it or not — right all along about the economy.

  3. Meh, if he didn’t make an effort, he’d be criticized for that too — and was, in fact, when it looked like he’d be absent for the vote.

  4. There is no real crisis aside from McCain’s falling poll numbers…. They have to ACT NOW on the financial troubles to save his campaign and distract the media from Palin who is becoming an embarrassment.

    It’s all been scripted.

  5. …McCain needed to parachute into the Capitol, guns-a-blazin’, knife in his teeth.

    Didn’t he break a leg that last time he did something similar?

  6. Here’s hoping the Rays clinch the division today.

  7. It doesn’t look like this is shaping up well for McCain, but he is one lucky bastard, and with the media in love with the MAVRICK, he might just pull it off.

  8. Dave, he has a private jet (or at least his wife does), I think he can fly out to Mississippi for a two hour debate.

  9. BDB,

    And he said he would, if the bill is passed in time.

  10. with the media in love with the MAVRICK

    Whoa, E, where have you been for the last year? The Straight Talk Express has been dumped for Obamalot.

  11. Damn straight, son! I’m riiiiiiccccchhhhhh, bitch!

  12. TallDave,
    Then he shouldn’t have called it a suspension of his campaign, he should have said, “Going back to work.” Suspending the campaign means you pull all your commercials, you stop sending your surrogates to talk on TV and you don’t send out talking points on how wonderful and selfless you are for “suspending your campaign” (apparently, you were on the mailing list for them). You’re outdoing your usual hacktastic self.

  13. Whoa, E, where have you been for the last year? The Straight Talk Express has been dumped for Obamalot

    They love both of them. If the media didn’t have a soft spot for McAngryPants, they would have savaged him by now. It would be too easy.

  14. Damn straight, son! I’m riiiiiiccccchhhhhh, bitch!

    “Why can’t I stop the bailout?!?”

    “Because I cut the brakes! Maverick, bitches! Yee haw!”

  15. Mo,

    Yeah, I’m sure you’d be singing his praises if he’d done all that. /eyeroll

  16. LMAO!!! It’s almost like you knew that was me that posted that comment.

  17. Let me see if I got this right: McCain doesn’t have any ideas or solutions, so he’s going to suspend his campaign in order to get the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee alone in a back room? What exactly will they be hammering out?

    If McCain doesn’t have any ideas when he’s on the campaign trail, how is that going to change once he goes back to DC? Leadership is now shown by abandoning what you’re doing to go yak it up in Congress? And I say yak it up not to demean Congressional debate, but to imply that if McCain had anything to say, he would have said it.

  18. “Because I cut the brakes! Maverick, bitches! Yee haw!”

    Always Sunny FTW.

  19. Naga, I’ve finally realized that McCain is Charlie. It explains everything: the imperviousness to pain; the illiteracy; the “wildcard” (read: maverick); and the association with the McPoyles (read: Bushes). Fork-stabbed!

  20. Don’t worry, I’m going to keep campaiging so I can fix the economy with higher capital gains taxes, higher income taxes, higher death taxes, higher dividends taxes, higher corporate taxes, higher payroll taxes… did I miss anything there?

    And if that doesn’t work, we’ll spark a trade war by renegotiating NAFTA! That will fix things for sure.

    And don’t forget my $1 trillion in new spending! The government knows how to spend your money, even if you don’t

    I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

  21. What difference will two hours for a debate make? What difference will suspending his tv advertisements make?

  22. “Would it be racist if I didn’t vote for Obama”

    “Oh great, Charlie. Now it would!”

  23. How dare you try explain “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to me!!! The meadow at noon, sir! Have your second chosen by then!

    Now that I think on your point . . . Dee would make a perfect Obama.

  24. We need hope and change and results! Just like at all the good this earmark of mine did!

    Without my grant, my campaign volunteers would have had to work for a living instead of stealing taxpayer money, and the criminal investigators would have nothing to investigate. Can we raise taxes to pay for more of this positive government action? Yes We Can!

    I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

  25. Then again, McCain IS a senator. I never got the whole “once you’re nominated to be president you can avoid doing your dayjob” thing. Regardless if it’s a political stunt or not, I bet the people of Arizona will be glad their senator is actually representing them instead of letting the issue pass without getting any representation in.

    Also, McCain seems to be pretty darn savvy politically, and if his skepticism can lead Republicans to pare down the proposal a little, I think we could all be thankful for his input – and he can benefit from reflecting public opinion better than Obama.

  26. Now that I think on your point . . . Dee would make a perfect Obama.

    No, no. McCain is Charlie, Palin is Sweet Dee, Obama is Dennis, and Biden is Mac. Liam McPoyle is Bush, but who is Frank? And who is Rickety Cricket?

  27. When did they say McCain was going to be at the Capitol again?

  28. “Without my grant, my campaign volunteers would have had to work for a living instead of stealing taxpayer money,”

    Yeah, just like all those CEOs begging for the bailout. They’re not stealing taxpayer money.

  29. I don’t know Epi. Palin as Dee? I think you’re just being sexist. The “people” are Frank.

  30. This is all a CIA conspiracy to give Obama AIDS.

  31. Yeah, just like all those CEOs begging for the bailout. They’re not stealing taxpayer money.

    Hey! Leave me alone! RACIST!!

  32. TallDave, have the balls to post under one screen name.

  33. What Franklin said. Er, except the racist part.

  34. Or SIV, whichever you are.

  35. And who is Rickety Cricket?

    Wolf Blitzer?

  36. OK, sorry, that was a bit whiney. But I don’t have the balls to have an actual point.

  37. I don’t know Epi. Palin as Dee? I think you’re just being sexist. The “people” are Frank.

    When Dee and Charlie pair up, they are at their craziest. Searching for human meat? Using all the cocaine they’re supposed to sell? It’s perfect, no sexism required.

    Frank…as Cheney, maybe?

  38. TallDave,
    No I wouldn’t praise him for it, it’d at least be consistent. I would probably think of him as less of a panicked loser in the race if he hadn’t suspended the campaign. If he said, “I’m going to DC to hammer this out. Let’s debate economics instead of foreign policy at George Mason, because economics is what’s important now,” I would have thought of him as a brilliant political strategist. His weak-ass, “I’m taking my ball and going to DC,” is just petulant and reeks of desperation.

  39. And who is Rickety Cricket?

    Wolf Blitzer?

    Can he climb a fire escape like Spiderman?

  40. The best was when Dee and Charlie paired up in “Charlie goes America all over Everybody’s Ass”

  41. Mo, not only that, but it gives Obama free TV time.

  42. “What is that a jar of?!? What does he have a jar of, dude?!?”

  43. the MAVRICK

    An awesome but belaboured acronym is necessary for the new, extra-mavericky spelling.

    Frank…as Cheney, maybe?

    Definitely, because Cheney would absolutely respond “yes” to this:

    “So, you’ve been in here tearing apart pillows and… pooping… on the floor?”

  44. Mo,

    Oh please, what a load of crap. You’d criticize him either way.

  45. Dagny, “MAVRICK” is from this.

    “Why don’t you crack an egg of knowledge all over me, buddy.”

  46. No I wouldn’t. I’m not a partisan hack like you or joe. If I see a good move, I call it one. This was a dumb panicky move and there are ways he could have adjusted it to make it a smart one.

  47. “MAVRICK” is from this.

    Ah, thx. I’d still appreciate a PATRIOT-esque acronym.

    “Voting In Righteous George Michael Is Noble.”

  48. DATELINE: Washington DC, September 27, 2009 –

    “President John McCain has suspended all military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran as he focuses on passing the 2010 federal budget. …

    In addition to halting all current military operations, President McCain called on the FBI to cease investigating any criminals, the SEC to temporarily stop overseeing equities markets, and the Social Security Administration to refrain from making Medicare payments. He said this will allow his administration to direct the full efforts of the federal government to passing next year’s budget.”

  49. Who was criticizing McCain for campaigning and attending the scheduled debates? Please name even one editorial.

  50. Ah, thx. I’d still appreciate a PATRIOT-esque acronym.

    McCain Assembles Vengeance In Communist Knickers?

    I tried.

    “Voting In Righteous George Michael Is Noble.”

    Hey, look, today is Always Sunny day. It’s Charlie’s day.

  51. And I forgot the R. Brilliant. But appropriate for “MAVRICK”.

  52. Ah, thx. I’d still appreciate a PATRIOT-esque acronym.

    “Voting In Righteous George Michael Is Noble.”

    Dagny – will you marry me?

  53. McCain would have been more convincing if he had actually, you know, headed to Washington, D.C., instead of blowing off his Letterman appearance to do an interview with Katie Couric.

  54. “Well, that’s like comparing apples and some fruit nobody’s ever heard of.”

  55. But appropriate for “MAVRICK”.

    Yes. The less sense made, the better.

    Making America Victory, Rockin’ In Crazy Kicks.

    Dagny – will you marry me?

    “Anything can happen when two people share a cell, cuz.”

  56. That proposal was a joke, also, in case nobody noticed

  57. “That explains the political thinking behind his latest stunt.”

    Bill Clinton said it wasn’t a stunt, but then, Matt Welch is so much smarter and politically astute that Bill Clinton.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/bill-clinton-do.html

  58. “Reinmoose, go wear Dagny out with your spaztic movements.”

  59. “I’ll wear her out with my awesome movements.”

    Making America Victory, Rockin’ In Crazy Kicks.

    Dowd is just pissed Palin aged better than her.

  60. “As I typed this up, I saw McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer on Fox News-her of the “suspended” McCain campaign-attacking Barack Obama for not feeling a similar flush of country first-ness.”

    And because the issue was so pressing that McCain had to immediately suspend his campaign he hopped in the Batmobile and rushed to the Hill to make sure he was there………a little before 1pm! I guess he put Brunch First.

    I’d like to know exactly what “suspend my campaign” means to McCain. Because his VP is campaigning in PA today.

  61. I’d like to know exactly what “suspend my campaign” means to McCain. Because his VP is campaigning in PA today.

    Likely it means “not have to keep any obligations I don’t want to keep”

  62. If I were president I’d fire myself!

  63. Making Arbitrary Vietnam References Insuring Campaign Knockouts

  64. McCain: A Viagra-Rocking Internetless Cong Killer

  65. Damn, somebody’s desperate. Feel it all slipping away, no-name? You’re right.

    Ha ha. Yeah, Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers. Good luck with that.

  66. Well this might give Mccain enough time to cliff notes his way through a debate where the economy might be an issue and to avoid being asked about it in interviews in the meantime.

    Since I believe him supporting the bail-out would be tantamount to saying. “fuck conservatism”

    He’ll just avoid talking about it til he’s sure which way gets him votes.

    Fucking old moron.

    In all honesty is someone who was tortured for a few years really “all there” mentally… usually? really?

    Not that Obama is better but at least he’s “supposed” to support the bailout.

  67. Oh I just can’t wait for Mighty Mouse McCain to be in charge of the armed forces.

  68. I wish both McCain and Obama would suspend their campaigns…permanently.

  69. I’m terrified of a McCain presidency. His first day in office is going to be a surprise attack on Vietnam to pay em’ back for his lodging bill.

  70. Well this might give Mccain enough time to cliff notes his way through a debate…

    No need for McCain or Palin to Cliff Note their way through. He can just borrow Bush’s hidden earpiece.

  71. I really wish Bush had an earpiece. I really do. How has anyone not taken a SWING at this guy?

    Are conservatives really such “homers”.
    I mean if you’re looking for anti american sentiment look at the president.

  72. Hey guys, TallDave has a point. Remember all those articles about McCain saying he should be in the Senate instead of campaigning. I’m sure we should all be very proud that the self-professed economics moron thinks he’s the one who can make this deal!

  73. Welfare for the rich?

    Why not just make every legal US citizen a millionaire while they’re at it?

    When they give our money away we lose twice: lost taxpayer money and then the dollars we’re left with are devalued.

  74. Thanks for the useful tip

  75. Thanks for the useful tip

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