Thursday, September 25, 2008

I don't always agree with the folks at but this message hits the nail on the head.

Yesterday was one of the stranger days in presidential election history. John McCain actually asked to "suspend" Friday's much anticipated debate with Barack Obama so that he could posture on the financial crisis.

Even the arch-conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board was mystified.

Bottom line: This isn't presidential behavior. It's a desperate, reckless move that actually threatens to make it harder to resolve this crisis. And of course, presidents have to be able to handle lots of important issues at once—they can't panic and take their eyes off of one urgent priority when another one pops up.

Obama wants the debate to go forward. So do millions of other Americans. With 40 days left until the most important election in a generation, we deserve a debate on the issues. What's motivating all this panicky erratic behavior from McCain? It's hard to tell, but here are what some of the experts are saying might be behind it: A drop in the polls. As Politico writer Ben Smith pointed out, "In terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that's changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling."

Stopping the VP debate. Last night, McCain surrogate Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested that the vice presidential debate between Gov. Palin and Sen. Biden be postponed indefinitely to accommodate his request to postpone tomorrow's debate. (Now, why would they ever want to postpone or cancel the VP debate?)

Pure reckless decision-making. McCain has a history of reckless decision-making. Here's how Time's Joe Klein put it yesterday, "McCain suspends his campaign because of financial crisis? Oh please. Given today's poll numbers—even Fox has him dropping—it seems another Hail Mary (like the feckless selection of Palin) to try make McCain seem a statesman, which is difficult given the puerile tenor of his campaign's message operation."

And the Wall Street Journal wrote last week: "In a crisis, voters want steady, calm leadership, not easy, misleading answers that will do nothing to help."

But whatever the cause is, McCain's wrong. Serious situations like this one are exactly the time when Americans most need a real discussion—a debate.

We've got to make sure that the Debate Commission doesn't bend under Republican pressure. Can you sign this emergency petition to the Commission on Presidential Debates urging them to hold strong and make sure that the debate go forward on Friday, as planned? We'll make sure they get your comments by the end of the day.

Clicking below will add your name:

The petition reads: "Now more than ever, the American people deserve a presidential debate. We urge you to make sure the debate goes forward as planned tomorrow night."

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