I think if you're John McCain now, you're looking around and wondering if things can get any worse for you. Wall Street and the financial sector, which you thought were coming out of the woods, retreated into the depths of the forest and barricaded themselves in their log cabin. Your Vice Presidential candidate did not come off too smoothly in a trip to the U.N. and made gaffes in front of Katie Couric which a) were worse than what happened with Charlie Gibson and b) not exactly going to fill anyone with any confidence in her ability to retain and repeat information (otherwise known as your record as a Senator). And did I fail to mention that you campaign manager didn't completely sever his ties to the people he lobbied for?
So you need to do something to get the swagger back and look, well... presidential. What to do... what to do... wait-a-minute! I'll suspend my campaign! I'll tell the American people that this financial crisis is too important to be handled in a partisan fashion and needs my full attention! It'll make me sound vigorous, in-charge, ready for action! Yeah!
First off, it seems Congress is able to build a bailout plan without your help. Second, even so, not all your Republican buddies are all that keen on it -- mainly because the people back home are restless, there are several key states where Republicans are vulnerable for House and Senate seats, and to give in so easily would look bad. It may mean angering their Wall Street contributors, but fat lot of good their money is right now!
Third, Obama called you on it. Shouldn't a man who-would-be-President be able to handle multiple things? It's not like the economy will stop collapsing long enough for you to be able to deal with Iran and North Korea.
And fourth, coming a full two weeks after the crisis reared its ugly head, doesn't it seem a bit disingenuous? Where was your leadership last week or the week before? Did the whole thing catch you and your staff by surprise?
And another thing -- why suspend the campaign? Don't you have a "qualified" Vice Presidential nominee who can hit the campaign trail in your absence and continue spouting the half-truths, obfuscations, and baseless accusations just as well as you can? Or are you afraid she'll say the wrong thing, "pull a Quayle" so-to-speak?
I'm sorry Senator McCain, but you were not prepared for this and your instinctive reaction tells the country more about your ability to be President than any attack ad or campaign stump speech. You dropped the ball. The people you surrounded yourself with weren't smart enough to take true advantage of the situation, to get you into your shining armor and up on your trusty steed fast enough. And now it looks like Congress is going to solve the problem without you and possibly without full Republican support, and that's going to make you look even weaker.
Do yourself a favor -- debate on Friday. At this point, you have nothing left to lose.