in US elections, Voorpagina

Desparate Johnny’s desparate ploy

Whoa Johnny! John McCain is suspending his campaign, and he wants this Friday’s debate cancelled so that he and Barack Obama can “concentrate on the economy” in “bipartisan fashion”, so that they can “act as Americans, and not as Democrats and Republicans”.

Something happened in McCain’s Campaign HQ, that much is clear. Just 48 hours ago, the first polls that were showing movement by the electorate towards Obama were trickling in. Just 24 hours ago, a steady stream of big polls noted swings of 3 to 5% to Obama. And then, today, a veritable avalanche of local, regional and national tracking polls showed that the swing was now 5 to 7% towards Obama!

Somebody in McCain HQ woke up, looked at the polls, scratched his head, looked at the polls again, whistled a tune, and reached for his mobile phone to tell his boss that “Mr Senator, we have a problem”.

The problem: the news has been almost solely about the economy the past week. The economy is of course Obama’s strong suit and McCain was seriously losing ground in the polls because of it. The Economy is the one major, central issue on which McCain simply cannot beat Obama. As said on this blog before, Team McCain has done everything to try to neutralize the issue in the eyes of voters.

And so now, suddenly, Senator McCain — the man who in the past months went from the Straight Talk Express man to the Cheap Mud Salesman without a moment’s hesitation — is suspending the campaign, in a most cynical effort to claim the leadership mantle on the economy.

And that after Obama had suggested that they simply put out a non-partisan, joint statement, urging Congress and secretary Paulson to agree on the emergency rescue plan as soon as possible.

Instead, McCain’s team yelled “Eureka!” and slammed McCain on television, where he announced that he is suspending his campaign and going to Congress.

It is sickening.

McCain once had a soul, until he hit an election crossroad, met the Devil and sold it. This man, this Senator, always prided himself on his cleanliness, his political sobriety. It is the man who infamously said of the mudslinging by his then-competitor, Mitt Romney: “Never get into a mud-wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”  But who had no problem whatsoever to become a pig of enormous proportions.

And so now he is desparately trying to remove The Economy from the front pages by neutralizing it, so that he can go back to attacking Obama on other issues, issues where McCain is strong. In the process, McCain may be hoping that the focus on his and Obama’s return to Washington will bury the polls, which the coming days are sure to show more Obama gains.

Utterly disgusting. For America and the world, I sincerely hope that the financial crisis is resolved soon, but I also hope that people will see through McCain’s smokescreen, and see his actions for what they’re trying to hide: desparation.

But then again, Bush was elected twice, too… So I don’t have high hopes at all.