The financial crisis continues and Congress is deadlocked.
John McCain leads by suspending campaign, postponing the debate, and urging the president to call a key leaders summit, to include himself and Barack Obama.
Obama refuses McCain’s call, demands the debate go forward, and sputters about being available if he’s needed.
President Bush convenes the meeting that John McCain suggested.
Obama blinks and agrees to attend.
The president addresses the nation, explains the history of the cris, and describes an outline of the proposed action. “It should be enacted as soon as possible,” is the president’s bottom line. “In times of real trial, elected officials rise to the occasion,” the president noted. That’s where we are tonight. Let’s hope he is right. The Congress needs to act soon.
These events should impact the presidential election in a profound way.
Today was Obama’s Katrina moment and an example of great leadership by John McCain. This contrast was telling and will matter.
Obama’s complaint about the debate postponement made him look exceptionally petty given his refusal to debate all summer long. Obama’s reversal suggests he did not understand the seriousness of the moment and was pursuing a purely political approach to the crisis.
John McCain, by contrast, acted with speed and resolution. McCain did not wait to see which way the polls were trending and he did what he has often done over the years –demanding what he saw was necessary action and appealing for bipartisan support. I have opposed some of these calls in the past, but today’s call was clearly the right thing to do.
What an extraordinary demonstration of the differences between these two nominees.