UPDATE: McCain Flip-Flops, Headed To Oxford | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

UPDATE: McCain Flip-Flops, Headed To Oxford

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John McCain's camp says he's headed to Mississippi.

Update: CNN is reporting that Sen. John McCain has announced he will be attending tonight's presidential debate in Oxford, despite his earlier refusal to participate if an agreement had not yet been met to resolve the looming economic crisis.

As festivities continued Thursday night in Oxford, and the town prepared as if the debate is on for tonnight, Sen. John McCain's campaign released a memo that made it sound very doubtful that he would show up for it. The memo, posted on Washington Post's The Fix, seemed to leave no opening for the debate to happen. It is widely believed in political circles that McCain has no intention of debating, even as he continues other campaigning around the country, and that he may try to move the debate to next week, replacing the vice presidential debate. Others, though, say he may be hoping to take credit should a deal be made on the bailout Friday with Republicans who are holding out, and then could show up at the debate anyway. His advance team has been on the ground in Oxford making preparations, along with Obama's.

Per The Fix:

"Tomorrow, John McCain will return to Capitol Hill where he will work with all sides to build a bipartisan solution that protects taxpayers and keeps Americans in their homes," said spokesman Brian Rogers in a memo detailing the events of the day and casting McCain as a consensus-builder and Democrats in the role of spoilers. (Full memo after the jump.)

Now, McCain does have his own plane, which means that he could theoretically be in Washington for negotiations through the early afternoon and then jet down to Mississippi for the 9 p.m. ET debate.

But the tone of McCain's memo seems to suggest he is not planning to waver from his original call yesterday to suspend tomorrow night's debate to a later date.

Barack Obama has indicated that he will come to Oxford for the debate Friday, and is expected to host a town-hall style meeting if McCain is a no-show.

Previous Comments

ID
138244
Comment

Another possibility, I suppose is that he is trying to throw Obama's preparation off by distracting him, but boy would that be game-playing. Either way, he is clearly playing an ugly political game by pretending that he's "suspended his campaign," even as he has kept running ad, doing interviews and various other campaign activities throughout -- all except say he's coming to the debate. Everyone knows he could do whatever magic he is doing in D.C. (ahem) and then get on his plane and come to Oxford. It's like he's been reading "Politics for Stupid People."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-25T21:49:19-06:00
ID
138245
Comment

A New York Times analysis of the McCain mess: Senator John McCain had intended to ride back into Washington on Thursday as a leader who had put aside presidential politics to help broker a solution to the financial crisis. Instead he found himself in the midst of a remarkable partisan showdown, lacking a clear public message for how to bring it to an end. At the bipartisan White House meeting that Mr. McCain had called for a day earlier, he sat silently for more than 40 minutes, more observer than leader, and then offered only a vague sense of where he stood, said people in the meeting. In subsequent television interviews, Mr. McCain suggested that he saw the bipartisan plan that came apart at the White House meeting as the proper basis for an eventual agreement, but he did not tip his hand as to whether he would give any support to the alternative put on the table by angry House Republicans, with whom he had met before going to the White House. He said he was hopeful that a deal could be struck quickly and that he could then show up for his scheduled debate on Friday night against his Democratic rival in the presidential race, Senator Barack Obama. But there was no evidence that he was playing a major role in the frantic efforts on Capitol Hill to put a deal back together again. [...] Still, as a matter of political appearances, the day’s events succeeded most of all in raising questions about precisely why Mr. McCain had called for postponing the first debate and returned to Washington to focus on the bailout plan, and what his own views were about what should be done. Those political appearances are a key consideration for Mr. McCain less than six weeks from Election Day and at a time when some polls suggest he is losing ground against Mr. Obama, especially on handling the economy. The substance of the financial crisis aside, it was already proving a tough stretch for Mr. McCain. Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, his running mate, struggled through questions about her foreign policy credentials during an interview with CBS News. Mr. McCain was lampooned on television by David Letterman. Mr. Obama might not have fared much better. He had come to Washington only reluctantly, opening himself to criticism by Republicans that he was putting his election bid ahead of the need to resolve the Wall Street crisis, and prompting concern among Democrats that his reaction to the events was simply too measured, considering the stakes. Still, by nightfall, the day provided the younger and less experienced Mr. Obama an opportunity to, in effect, shift roles with Mr. McCain. For a moment, at least, it was Mr. Obama presenting himself as the old hand at consensus building, and as the real face of bipartisan politics. What a week.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-25T22:08:52-06:00
ID
138247
Comment

From McCain's memo: "At today's cabinet meeting, John McCain did not attack any proposal or endorse any plan. John McCain simply urged that for any proposal to enjoy the confidence of the American people, stressing that all sides would have to cooperate and build a bipartisan consensus for a solution that protects taxpayers. However, the Democrats allowed Senator Obama to run their side of the meeting. That did not work as the meeting quickly devolved into a contentious shouting match that did not seek to craft a bipartisan solution." McCain is still campaigning through memos. Also, by his own admission, he's just there asking people to play nice.

Author
Ward Schaefer
Date
2008-09-26T07:55:23-06:00
ID
138248
Comment

Right. And other reports about the meeting said that he said without saying anything for 40 minutes and let everyone else speak about the "agreed-on" proposal, then spoke up and stopped it. I've seen no other indication that Obama was "shouting" (which the above memo doesn't say, but implies). Another lie?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-26T07:58:56-06:00
ID
138249
Comment

The other thing that is disturbing is that the McCain campaign is so clearly plotting; this memo above from last night makes it sound like he's not coming to the debate, but Sid Salter at The Clarion-Ledger is saying that a McCain campaign person told him early that morning that McCain will show up at the last minute. If that is really the plan, then McCain has not suspended any campaign, and he is just maneuvering all this to look like he's in control and to throw Obama off his game. Meantime, he has been disruptive in D.C. by inserting politics into the middle of a very serious economic negotiation. Meantime, he sends word ahead to MIssissippi to keep preparing because he really is coming? What kind of games are these?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-26T08:02:05-06:00
ID
138252
Comment

"...I suppose is that he is trying to throw Obama's preparation off by distracting him..." That is what I am thinking. OR...There was talk of postponing the Palin/Biden debate. THAT may have been the real objective. Who can blame them if that is what they wanted to do? It does not look good for her without a script, facing someone who is playing hardball rather than throwing her soft pitches and repeating questions over and over again to see if she can give a coherent answer.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-09-26T08:46:26-06:00
ID
138256
Comment

If they do the Obama town hall thing, I want to go. How many are they letting in off the street? Any?

Author
Tre
Date
2008-09-26T09:32:55-06:00
ID
138259
Comment

Ah, McCain is gracing Mississippi with his presence after all. Two points, Obama. His not-so-subtle challenge last night must have worked: "Sen. McCain has no need to be fearful about a debate," Obama told reporters. "He's a person of strong opinions and he's been expressing them on the campaign trail." MSNBC Anyone else have whiplash today?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-26T10:07:04-06:00
ID
138260
Comment

Associated Press: Republican John McCain announced he will be attending Friday night's presidential debate, his campaign said, even though Congress doesn't have a bailout deal in place. Less than 10 hours before the debate was scheduled to start, the McCain campaign announced that the Arizona senator would travel to Mississippi to face off against Barack Obama. The campaign said he will fly back to Washington after the forum to continue working on the financial crisis. He's doing exactly what Obama said they should do Wednesday. He must have seen that this stunt is not working. At least it shows us the perpetual drama that a McCain-Palin administration would bring. Positively Meltonian.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-26T10:09:24-06:00
ID
138262
Comment

Tre', I heard that besides the media, only students could get into the auditorium. I don't know for sure.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T10:26:25-06:00
ID
138264
Comment

Thank the lord! I was worried I wasn't going to have a reason to head to Hal and Mal's, drink copious amounts of vodka, and yell at the television! We were going to plan 'Its The End Of The World As We Know It' party in honor of the economy if the debate was cancelled. ;-)

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-09-26T10:31:07-06:00
ID
138265
Comment

Anyone else have whiplash today? Is there such a condition as Shaken Adult Syndrome? I am coming down with election fatigue, and I wish I could go to a remote island with no TV or radio until November, and come back to vote. I'd rather do it in person than send an absentee ballot, but that's just me. :P

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T10:32:02-06:00
ID
138267
Comment

Thank the lord! I was worried I wasn't going to have a reason to head to Hal and Mal's, drink copious amounts of vodka, and yell at the television! NOTE TO SELF: Attend a different debate party.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-09-26T10:49:31-06:00
ID
138269
Comment

Todd- don't be gettin' sassy with me. I'll take back my feather boa. :P

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-09-26T10:55:16-06:00
ID
138270
Comment

Well, I'll be enjoying the debate from the comforts of home. The only one I want to hear yelling at the TV is me. LOL

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T11:08:17-06:00
ID
138274
Comment

Lori, thought this may interest you: The Presidential Debate Drinking Game

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T11:56:28-06:00
ID
138278
Comment

We all need some entertainment during the debate.... Debate Bingo!!! http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/debatebingo/azc_bingo.html

Author
Puck
Date
2008-09-26T14:27:29-06:00
ID
138280
Comment

First he suspends his campaign and tries to postpone the debates, but continues to run ads and now says he will be here for the debate. He wanted to "cut and run" and now he is a "flip-flopper." Somebody needs to tell him you can't run in cut flip-flops! Ah, I have a headache now.

Author
Tre
Date
2008-09-26T14:29:19-06:00
ID
138281
Comment

McCain camp releases ad claiming debate victory The Washington Post reported Friday that the campaign was running an online ad featuring the headline: "McCain Wins Debate!" and a photo of a smiling McCain and an American flag background. Another featured a quote from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis: "McCain won the debate — hands down." The Obama campaign quickly circulated the report – which came moments before McCain’s team confirmed he would take part in the evening debate after all. Oops.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T14:41:56-06:00
ID
138282
Comment

Thanks for the bingo link, Puck! Looks like fun!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T14:46:12-06:00
ID
138283
Comment

We saw that, L.W. Eek! I'm going to post it on the Debate Blog, too. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-26T14:49:09-06:00
ID
138286
Comment

Hey, y'all, I actually found some footage of Obama and McCain getting ready for the debate tonight. Check it out!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T15:05:16-06:00
ID
138287
Comment

That kicks ass! As in, the ass doing the ass kicking, not the ass getting his ass kicked. Can I say "ass" here? Ass.

Author
Tre
Date
2008-09-26T15:13:55-06:00
ID
138288
Comment

People posting here are very well mannered compared to some other sites out there. It's a tribute to the management and/or Mississippi manners!

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-09-26T15:16:54-06:00
ID
138289
Comment

You just did, Tre. ;-) Whitley, it's because we run off all the hoodlums (hoodli?), and they end up on those other blogs. Mean people like to stick together, ;-) Speaking of, where the hell is Walt?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-26T15:25:43-06:00
ID
138291
Comment

Walt is in Winona,isn't he?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-09-26T15:48:25-06:00
ID
138292
Comment

Did y'all see the "Rednecks for Obama" picture in our gallery -- no. 23 right now! LOVE IT.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-09-26T16:01:18-06:00
ID
138293
Comment

Walt said he would be there for a couple of weeks. I'm sure he'd be blowing this site up if he had the time.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T16:06:52-06:00
ID
138294
Comment

"Rednecks for Obama" were in Denver. Is it an actual organization or just an informal deal?

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-09-26T16:15:31-06:00
ID
138297
Comment

I like the picture of the windmill display, and I thought the air freshener in the garbage can was cute. So southern. :P

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T16:36:10-06:00
ID
138300
Comment

Rednecks for Obama has a real web site, but "organization" might be stretching it :-)

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2008-09-26T16:44:15-06:00
ID
138307
Comment

Hey, look! Someone found a copy of McCain's debate notes. Interesting read.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-09-26T18:42:34-06:00

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