OK, let me get this straight. John McCain announces the temporary suspension of his campaign to return to Washington and focus on the financial crisis, and Barack Obama responds by…insisting it was his idea first??
The cynicism in Sen. McCain’s announcement is pretty obvious, but is Sen. Obama really trying to take credit for McCain’s cynicism?
After McCain’s suspension announcement, the Obama campaign scrambled to the press to claim indignantly that Obama called McCain this morning to suggest a “joint statement” of some kind (Obama said the same thing at his press conference following McCain’s; they’re not specific on the matter). McCain says Obama did call, but didn’t reach him, as he was meeting with economic advisors and members of Congress all day. Moreover, he just told Katie Couric (no link, I’m watching it right now) that “this is not the time for ‘statements,’ this is the time to act.”
In any case, McCain has clearly taken it a step further and said that their jobs take precedence over their job aspirations, and as such they should both suspend campaigning until at least next week. Obama disagrees, saying the debate Friday should go ahead as planned and if the Senate leadership needs him they are free to call him.
More twists and turns, and a little analysis about the short- and medium-term options open to each candidate, below the break.
UPDATE: The aftermath! Lots of reaction, including from the Senate Democratic leadership (likewise, below the break).