The Fix asks: Who will blink first

In his wag the blog post last night, Chris Cilliza, better known in some circles as The Fix sets up the following:

The decision yesterday by John McCain to suspend his campaign in order to deal with the financial crisis on Wall Street and Barack Obama‘s refusal to follow suit creates an old-fashioned political showdown.

At issue is whether tomorrow’s presidential debate — scheduled for 9 pm at the University of Mississippi in Oxford — will be held.

McCain has said he would like the debate to be postponed, suggesting,according to Fox News, that the planned vice presidential debate next Friday in St. Louis (Mrs. Fix’s hometown!) be used instead as the inaugural presidential debate.

Obama expressed his desire for the debate to go forward during an impromptu press conference in Florida yesterday. “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,” said Obama. “Part of the president’s job is to deal with more than one thing at once.”

The lines now formally drawn, we wait to see which side blinks first. It’s the sort of political staring contest that so rarely happens these days in politics because the stakes are simply too high…

And the question:

…we want to hear from you on whether Obama, McCain or neither will blink first in this current showdown, and, as importantly, why.

Never one to back down from a challenge, I thought I’d answer here on thinkPOP. In hopes that one day, our lowly little blog can aspire to the heights of the beloved Fix. On to the answer!

I don’t see this as a presidential staring content. McCain has already given himself a mighty big out. His camp has basically said that McCain won’t miss the Friday debate unless no legislative resolution has been reached by congress by Friday. Since most people in Washington seem to think a deal will be reached by then, McCain’s not risking much. 

Also, while McCain would love to play this as a presidential-looking move to executive power brokering in Washington, the truth is the cameras will be in Mississippi, and a thousand talking heads across the networks yammmering about Barack Obama standing ready to speak to the American people is a net loss for McCain. It begs the question, if a candidate is in Washington to look presidential, but no networks are there to broadcast it, does he win any electoral votes?

I fully expect McCain to be there. The more interesting thing to me will be to see how the debate, which was supposed to be on foreign policy shifts in tone or content to accomodate what’s on everyone’s mind…the economy. Also, leading into the debate (and possibly during) can McCain’s spin that he wanted to go back to Washington to solve this problem beat Obama’s spin that a President should be able to do two things at once.


One Response

  1. In my opinion, the main thing that the political course of America has changed, we will wait and hope …

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