Ballot Box

The latest political buzz from around the web

John McCain is quickly losing ground with voters as tonight's debate hangs in the balance. The candidate's decision to suspend his campaign and work on the financial crisis was largely viewed by Dems and many in the media as a ploy for attention amid sinking poll numbers. Today's buzz: The fallout from McCain's campaign suspenion.

  • Time magazine's Joe Klein writes that McCain's "wild-eyed" campaign suspension was melodramatic and he faces further embarrassment by ducking out of the debate. So, what now? Take-away: "McCain may clear Obama's clock in the coming debates -- but it seems entirely possible that the old fighter jock may be frightened that he's about to ditch another plane."
  • Michael Goodwin of the NY Daily News disagrees. McCain's suspension has forced the financial crisis to center stage -- and dragged it into the presidential debate. Take-away: "The very idea that the next president should not be immersed in the historic crisis is preposterous."
  • McCain must resort to political theater because his campaign has no central argument, writes David Brooks in the NYT. Take-away: "Without a groundbreaking argument about why he is different, he's had to rely on tactical gimmicks to stay afloat."
  • McCain's actions smacked of desperation and his efforts too late to make a substantive difference, writes E. J. Dionne Jr. in the WaPo. Take-away: "McCain's boisterous intervention -- and particualrly his grandstanding on the debate -- was less a presidential act that the tactical ploy of a man worried that his chances of becoming president might be slipping away."
  • McCain is turning into a parody of himself and this isn't the first time, writes Matt Welch in the LA Times. Take-away: "When a candidates confuses his own political ambitions with the fortunes of his coutnry, that's when Great Men turn into self-parodies."
  • The Republican candidate has thrown several game-changers into the campaign but now he appears simply cartoonish, writes Rich Lowry in the NY Post. McCain is doing his best Perot impression. Take-away: "All year John McCain has been like the proverbial cartoon character over the edge of a cliff."

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