September 25th, 2008
02:53 PM ET

McCain suspends democracy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/25/olemiss.jpg caption="Rehearsals for Friday's presidential debate between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama at the University of Mississippi."]

Katrina vanden Heuvel | Bio
AC360° Contributor
Editor, The Nation

Lincoln ran for office in 1864, when there was a good chance he wouldn't have a country to lead. FDR ran for office in the middle of the largest conflict in human history–twice. We can have a debate this Friday.

Instead, McCain is going to "suspend" the democratic process? And this from a man who prides himself on his Commander-in-Chief skills? How is calling quits amid a crisis as severe as 9/11, in human security terms, a measure of his leadership strength?

Bush and McCain, linked again at the hip, are telling this nation,which seeks confidence and hope: You have nothing to fear but the end of fear itself. McCain has bailed out from the responsibilities demanded of a presidential candidate who claims to be a leader. Bush looked like the dog in that never-to-be-forgotten National Lampoon cover with dog, gun pointed at his head. Propped up at single digit ratings delivering a speech, the worst president in our history was sent out there to scare Americans and prop up a man he smeared two election cycles ago.


soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Pedro, San Francisco

    Once again, actions speak better than words. McCain isn't prepared for the debate and obviously incompetent to be our leader. Open your eyes and see reality without any veils!!!

    September 25, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  2. Cheryl-Chi-Town

    Excuse me people have any of you checked McCain's voting record for the last 26 years including the Keaton 5 scandal.......by the way he was not prosecuted.......I'm not concern so much with the debate as I am concerned about finding out how we got here and what each one of these candidates can do for the American people to prevent such a disaster again......and since McCain has been decided that he is now concerned about the fundamentals of the economy being strong on the eve of a market crisis........my question is what had he been doing prior to the elections to advert some of the geedy wall street executives........deregulation of the banking industry.

    September 25, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  3. Greg - Johnstown, Pa

    Lets not forget that the McCain camp this morning wanted to push the debate to October 2nd thus creating a conflict with the Biden/Palin debate. Everything McCain does lately screams disingenuousness.

    September 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  4. Lynn, Lexington, KY

    This all makes me sick...especially questioning whether Obama would get a "pass" if one of his kids was sick. Are you kidding me? What does that smoke and mirrors BS comment have to do with ANYTHING? Why in the world would McCain not be able to step up and address the American people for a couple of hours? He isn't POTUS yet (and let's hope ever), so I hardly think his presence in DC is so relevant that he can't fly to Mississippi, participate in the debate and then fly back. He is ill-prepared and doesn't want to debate because he'll LOSE! What a joke...

    September 25, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  5. Demba

    I honestly think McCain is playing risky politics here. I suspect Republicans backed down from a immediate deal so McCain can rally them back to the original deal and make him look like he has led and united the republicans.

    Watch they will come back tomorrow morning with a claim McCain has shown leadership and brought back the republicans. We have seen this movie before.


    September 25, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  6. Susan Walker

    As a former HR Director, I would never hire any executive who missed his first job interview. Enough of the adversarial political games, McCain needs to keep his appointment with the American people and appear at the debate as scheduled.

    Susan Walker
    Seneca, IL

    September 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  7. c,ca

    Keith –

    McCain's POW experience is completely irrelevant to this blog entry – or to the campaign.

    How does being a POW make a person qualified to be president? Most people I talk to think it should disqualify him because of possible mental instability as a result of his treatment. That is not demeaning him or his service. I have heard that opinion from people that support him, but worry that he could overreact in a situation based on his history. Even George Will – ultra conservative – has written that McCain does not have the temperament for the job (quite possible because of his captivity).

    Either way – it has nothing to do with the subject of this blog.

    September 25, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  8. Laura, Lacey Washington

    It was a complete gimmick by McCain. A chess move at a time when people from both parties were working out a deal. He was simply trying to appear relevant to a process in a crisis that he didn't think was a crisis a week ago.

    People who fall for his scheme are deluded.

    September 25, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
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