Update: McCain has canceled appearances on Letterman and Fox. His ads will come down tonight. This is now a showdown. If McCain shows up now, will he look weak? If Obama shows up and McCain doesn't might McCain look like he snubbed Ole Miss? But if McCain does show up, will he look weak?
Has Obama called his bluff? How long can McCain afford to have Obama's ads run unopposed? After all, if the reason for canceling campaign operations is to focus on the economy, what if it doesn't improve for weeks???
This is a chess game now, with McCain winning the opening move (which may have been a "game-changer"), but there are several moves ahead. I think we won't know if this worked, or not, for a day, or so ...
Update: Adam Brickley just poked his head in my office and suggested that if Obama is going to insist on debating (rather than focusing on the economy) that McCain should send Palin. This was said mostly in jest, but if Obama postures on this, and if McCain wants to up the ante, who knows ...
Update: Newt on Senator Obama Refusing to Suspend His Campaign:
"As Speaker of the House, I know what being in deep negotiations is and what it takes to get members in Congress to get something done. We were able to work through welfare reform and a balanced budget. Let me just tell you first hand, what Senator McCain is proposing will take extraordinary hard work and it is going to take many long hours.
It is surprisingly irresponsible and politically dangerous for the Obama campaign to try and insist on a debate Friday night.
While both of these men are candidates for president, they are still both currently serving as United States Senators. The American people, in this kind of economic situation, want to see their elected leaders working to solve this crisis, not debating. They want this problem fixed and that will mean getting real bipartisan agreement. .All members on both sides in both houses including Senators McCain and Obama are going to have to roll up their sleeves, sit down, listen to each-other, and work very hard to get it done.
I’m not sure Senator Obama has ever participated in a crisis of this magnitude at this level, but he should set aside politicking and commit to working with Senator McCain to find a solution to this problem.
The economy can’t wait, postpone the debate. We can get back to talking later. For the moment, let’s produce a real solution for America."