With McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign and head back to Washington, Friday’s Presidential Debate in Mississippi seems to be going forward, with or without him. The Obama campaign has pledged that Sen. Obama will be there for the debate, regardless of what McCain chooses to do. Originally McCain had asked that the foreign policy debate be postponed so that himself and Sen. Obama could head to Washington and deal with the proposed $700 billion bail out plan for Wall Street banks.
A report on the debate status from CNN:
Another report from local ABC 24 in Memphis on the logistics and financial burden of delaying the debate:
The Obama campaign has stated that Sen. Obama will be heading to Mississippi, report from Politico:
Barack Obama said Thursday that heâ€™ll be heading to Oxford, Mississippi, for Fridayâ€™s presidential despite John McCainâ€™s call to push it back.
â€œLater today, Iâ€™ll be travelling to Washington to offer my help in getting this deal done. Then, Iâ€™ll travel to Oxford on Friday for the first of our presidential debates,â€ Obama said in remarks to the Clinton Global Initiative.
â€œOur election is in 40 days. Our economy is in crisis, and our nation is fighting two wars abroad. The American people deserve to hear directly from myself and Senator McCain about how we intend to lead our country. The times are too serious to put our campaign on hold, or to ignore the full range of issues that the next president will face.â€
Despite McCainâ€™s claim that the proposed $700 billion bailout will not pass â€œas it currently stands,â€ Obama expressed optimism about progress on Capitol Hill.
Bill Clinton basically defends McCain’s decision on suspending the campaign and postponing the debate, from Politico:
Former President Bill Clinton believes John McCainâ€™s move to suspend his campaign and push back Fridayâ€™s scheduled debate was made in â€œgood faithâ€ and not â€œbecause heâ€™s afraidâ€ to debate Barack Obama.
â€œI presume he did that in good faith,â€ Clinton said on Good Morning America, recalling that McCain had â€œasked for more debates to go all around the country.â€
â€œI don’t think we ought to overly parse that. Just let’s deal with this issue,â€ the former president said. â€œWe know he didn’t do it because he’s afraid, because Senator McCain wanted more debates.â€
Just for kicks, here’s a piece put together by the Associated Press of Obama and McCain debating during the primary season:
The ball is in McCain’s court on this one, I think his initial decision to suspend campaigning for a couple days would be met with acceptance since people are worried about the economy. However, that being said, I think people want to see this debate and probably do agree that both these candidates have nice planes with their logos on the side which can get them back and forth quickly.
We’ll keep you posted this afternoon and evening if we get more definitive information.
An official statement from the Commission on Presidential Debates:
Oxford, Miss., September 24, 2008 – â€œThe Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is moving forward with its plan for the first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. this Friday, September 26. The plans for this forum have been underway for more than a year and a half. The CPDâ€™s mission is to provide a forum in which the American public has an opportunity to hear the leading candidates for the president of the United States debate the critical issues facing the nation. We believe the public will be well served by having all of the debates go forward as scheduled.â€
Doesn’t look like McCain’s request is going to be honored which means he’ll either be there or he wont. Something tells me he’ll indeed be there as it looks like some kind of deal on the $700 billion bailout package is close to being reached as of around 4pm ET today.
More as it develops….
McCain still isn’t committing to the debate but says he hopes to be there, report from Breitbart:
WASHINGTON (AP) – John McCain’s campaign expressed cautious optimism Thursday as congressional Republicans and Democrats agreed in principle on a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry hours before the two presidential candidates were to meet with President Bush on the crisis.
Even so, the action didn’t appear to be strong enough to convince McCain to attend Friday’s scheduled presidential debate. His campaign has said he wouldn’t participate unless there was consensus between Congress and the administration, and a spokesman said the afternoon developments had not changed his plans.
“There’s no deal until there’s a deal. We’re optimistic but we want to get this thing done,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said.
Obama still wants the face-off to go on, and is slated to travel to the debate site in Mississippi on Friday.
The debate over the debate is the latest campaign twist as McCain and Obama try to navigate the uncharted politics of the financial meltdown and show leadership at a time of national angst.
“With so much on the line, for America and the world, the debate that matters most right now is taking place in the United States Capitolâ€”and I intend to join it,” McCain said after addressing former President Clinton’s Global Initiative in New York on Thursday before heading to Washington.
Obama argued the debate should proceed because a president needs to be able to handle more than one issue at a time.
Still looks tentative, however, I’m presuming that something will come through tomorrow which will make way for McCain heading to the debate. Still developing, will update as information warrants.
Interview with Frank J. Fahrenkopf of the Commission on Presidential Debates as to whether this thing is going to happen tonight:
Will update later this afternoon with full details and a preview if things thing is going down tonight or not.
Stay tuned for more…
Statement from McCain’s campaign that he will be heading to Mississippi to participate in the debate tonight, the debate will go on as planned for 9pm eastern time on every major network.
Follow the latest debate details here:
Presidential debate tonight at 9PM ET from Ole Miss