Sep 242008

Here is video of Barack Obama’s press availability in Clearwater, Florida today. He discusses the economic challenges facing the United States as well as John McCain’s attempt to back out of Friday night’s presidential debate (see previous post)…

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The Commission on Presidential Debates issued this statement earlier today:

“The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is moving forward with its plan for the first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. this Friday, Sept. 26. The plans for this forum have been underway for more than a year and a half. The CPD’s mission is to provide a forum in which the American public has an opportunity to hear the leading candidates for the president of the United States debate the critical issues facing the nation. We believe the public will be well served by having all of the debates go forward as scheduled.”

UPDATE: Senator McCain was, as previously mentioned on this blog, scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman this evening. He canceled that appearance so he could race back to Washington to deal with our current economic situation (though he did make time along the way to stop off for an interview with Katy Couric). Here is how Mr. Letterman filled the time (Spoiler alert: Do not watch this video if you are planning on watching the Letterman show later tonight):

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Truth be known, John McCain’s campaign is collapsing around him. It started to implode on the day the Republican power machine made him select Sarah Palin as his running mate. This election, my friends, is, for all practical purposes, over and done with. I’m actually afraid to go to sleep for fear that I will miss Johnny’s concession speech.

P.S. Somewhat off topic but still related… Laura Bush said today that she thinks Sarah Palin is being treated unfairly because she is a woman. She also said that is to be expected. In what way is Sarah Palin being treated unfairly? Why is that to be expected? And, perhaps even more importantly, why should she be treated any differently than any other candidate for high national office? This woman wants to be our vice president, for heavens’ sake… one unhealthy 72-year-old heartbeat away from being our president! Should she really be receiving special treatment? If so, why?

This whole thing would be downright laughable if it weren’t so damned sad.

P.P.S. I hear George W. Bush gave a speech tonight?

Sep 242008

Could the desperation in this ploy to avoid Friday night’s debate possibly be more transparent?

Obama rejects McCain’s call to delay debate

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

NEW YORK (AP) – Republican John McCain said Wednesday that he wants to postpone Friday’s debate to deal with the nation’s financial problems, but Democrat Barack Obama said “it’s more important than ever” that the country hear from its next president.

The White House rivals maneuvered to claim the leadership role on the financial crisis that has overshadowed their campaign, leaving the question of whether they will hold their first debate in doubt. Obama said he would continue ahead with his debate preparations, while McCain said he would stop all advertising, fundraising and other campaign events to return to Washington and work for a bipartisan solution.

“It’s my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess,” Obama said at a news conference in Clearwater, Fla. “It’s going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.”

Their dueling positions came after the two senators spoke privately, each trying to portray himself as the bipartisan leader at a time of crisis.[..]

Even as McCain said he was putting the good of the country ahead of politics, his surprise announcement was clearly political. It was an attempt to try to out-maneuver Obama on an issue he’s trailing on, the economy, as the Democrat gains in polls. He swiftly went before TV cameras minutes after speaking with Obama and before the two campaigns had hammered out a joint statement expressing that Congress act urgently on the bailout.

And while McCain’s campaign said he would “suspend” his campaign, it simply will move to Washington knowing the spotlight will remain on him no matter where he is.

Obama repeatedly stressed at his news conference that he called McCain first to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible. He said McCain called back several hours later, as Obama was leaving a rally in Florida, and agreed to the idea of a statement but also said he wanted to postpone the debate and hold joint meetings in Washington.

Obama said he suggested they first issue a joint statement showing bipartisanship.

“When I got back to the hotel, he had gone on television to announce what he was going to do,” Obama said.

From The Washington Post

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said McCain’s move was “the longest ‘Hail Mary’ in the history of either football or Marys.” The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which was holding a hearing on the bailout, added “I’m not particularly focused on Senator McCain. I guess if I wanted expertise there [from the GOP ticket], I’d ask Sarah Palin.”

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada had a similar reaction. “It would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy,” Reid said. “If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.”

He added: “If there were ever a time for both candidates to hold a debate before the American people about this serious challenge, it is now.”[..]

Obama campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs was more direct. The scene at the debate site in Oxford, Miss. Friday night, he said, would consist of “a stage, an audience, a moderator, and at least one presidential candidate.”

Sorry, Johnny, looks like you’re gonna have to show up on Friday night after all.

P.S. Senator McCain has canceled his scheduled appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight. There must be a reason he is so reluctant to appear in public these days. This is a man who wants to be our next president. What is he afraid of?

Sep 242008

One of the favorite refrains of the right wing Republicans throughout the summer has been “Why can’t Obama put this thing away?” Thanks to the Bush/McCain economic meltdown, I believe (or at least hope) he just has…

Economic Woes Edge Obama Over McCain

The economic turmoil on Wall Street and fear among voters about the nation’s economy has boosted Democrat Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy, giving him his first clear lead over Republican John McCain in the presidential race.

Obama now leads McCain among likely voters by 52 percent to 43 percent, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

That is a significant swing from the most recent ABC/Washington Post poll earlier this month that gave McCain a slight 49-47 point edge.

“It is all about the economy,” ABC’s chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos told “Good Morning America” today. “People are angry and shocked and worried about the economy and that is all helping Barack Obama right now.”

The latest poll finding marks the first time that the Illinois senator has surpassed 50 percent support among likely voters in the presidential campaign — a key coup for the Democratic candidate.

“You have to go back to 1948 for the last time when a candidate having this kind of a lead in late September lost,” Stephanopoulos said.

I am not beginning my celebration just yet, however. We still have almost six weeks until the most important poll of all is taken – the one taken on Election Day. There is still a lot that could happen between now and then. We still have the three presidential debates, the first of which is coming up this Friday evening, and the one vice presidential debate.

Nope, I don’t believe I’ll pop the cork on the champagne bottle just yet. I’ll save that for the night of November 4th when this thing is officially called for our next president, Barack Obama.


See also: “FOX News Poll: Obama Reclaims Lead Over McCain, 45% to 39%.” FOX News!