Let's suppose he had been out attending fundraisers and rallies these last two days -- he would have been criticized for not being in Washington during this crucial time ... This entire dance was interesting because it is rare in modern times for two sitting U.S. Senators to be running against each other for president. While Obama has not been a crucial leader in passing bi-partisan legislation, McCain, most certainly, has.
... But aside from being the responsible thing to do, McCain's announcement was smart politically because it essentially changed the subject to a process story. McCain had been struggling to gain traction since the economy became the focus. His annoucement the other day gave journalists something exciting to talk about for a few days (I might also add that it is something they could grasp more easily than the economy).