Mccain delays debate
The Hiller Instinct: Mccain delays debate
And, by proposing the delay, McCain has backed Barack Obama into a box, which Obama helped create.
Make no mistake: this is a brutal bit of politics by McCain, and Democrats who are already calling it a "ploy" definitely have a point. But their point may be lost--in part because of a badly-timed decision by Obama.
Originally the focus of the first debate in Mississippi was supposed to be domestic issues...which would have included the economy. But Obama wanted it changed to foreign policy, and it was.
Now, with virtually every American more concerned about the effects of a trillion dollar bailout than the war in Iraq, McCain can argue that legislating is more important than debating. Moving to delay the debate also makes McCain look presidential...and fills a vacuum.
During the past week, hasn't it seemed as if either Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were in the White House.
President Bush did give a prime-time speech tonight, but he seems barely relevant--the lamest of lame ducks--with Congress bailing out on him.
McCain can also cite a precedent for a postponement. You may recall the first night of the Republican Convention was cancelled when McCain thought tracking Hurricane Gustav was more appropriate Still, the GOP Convention helped McCain pass Obama in the polls.
But, since then, he's fallen behind, in large part because Americans trust Obama more than McCain to handle the economy.
So McCain is making another risky bet. But his last one-picking Sarah Palin--seems to be paying off.
So Friday's debate has turned into a high-stakes political poker game, in which one of the candidates may have to fold.
Right now, I'd say McCain has the better hand...because if he doesn't go to the debate, there won't be one.
I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.
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