Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama initiated the sequence of events that led to Republican candidate John McCain’s stunning announcement this afternoon that he would suspend his campaign and propose delaying Friday’s first debate between the contenders.
While it was Obama who took the lead, McCain pulled a bait and switch stunt in order to try and grab headlines — and the leadership mantle in a race that is all about who can best guide the country — for himself.
The Republican did so by leading the Democrat to believe he was willing to work together behind the scenes with Obama to develop a joint response to the current economic crisis, only to have the Republican leap in front of the cameras with a solo announcement.
Here’s the scenario as it played out during the course of one of the most tumultuous days in the history of American presidential politics. The Nation, in The Beat by John Nichols.
Here’s what Letterman had to say when he heard McCain is suspending his campaign for president:
“You don’t suspend your campaign. This doesn’t smell right. This isn’t the way a tested hero behaves.” And he joked: “I think someone’s putting something in his metamucil.”
“He can’t run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sarah Palin. Where is she?”
“What are you going to do if you’re elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We’ve got a guy like that now!”
HuffPo, video included.