Obama To Do Townhall If McCain Skips Debate

Sam Stein:

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post. In McCain's absence, the Senator is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour's Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two, the official said.

I bet McCain shows up.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    What you hear (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:20:42 PM EST
    is the sound of Obama calling the bluff.

    I just wonder if McCain is seriously going to try and claim credit for the bailout deal, or if the effort will culminate with a few feeble attempts by his surrogates.  Right now he's probably trying to decide whether to oppose the bailout or to claim responsibility for making it happen.

    I just cheked the news wires (none / 0) (#24)
    by Miserere mei on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:49:43 PM EST
    and so far there is no report of him saying he was going to attend.

    If he does attend he can just say he was willing to stay in DC and do his work as a Senator and at the same time help lead his party. That scenario can't be a loser for him.

    On the other hand if he doesn't attend then he will need a legitimate reason for not doing so such as last minute gridlock getting the bill through which could be the fault of either party or both. If he stays for a reason like that I doubt that many non-partisans are going to be upset with that.

    Additionally if I were him and stayed in DC and Obama does his town hall I'd counter that with a  televised speech explaining why he is in DC and what he is accomplishing. And then like he already has I'd challenge Obama once again to a series of town halls which Obama rejected the first time around. Even Big Dog Clinton mentioned those rejected town halls last night on TV and said the reason McCain may not attend is not because he is afraid of debates. And that comes from someone who Obama has  requested he campaign for him.


    Sounded like he panicked (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:53:39 PM EST
    and it blew up in his face.

    Just what is he playing? (none / 0) (#43)
    by TomStewart on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:12:13 PM EST
    What could possibly be the strategy here? Is this whole nonsensical 'suspending' thing supposed to make him look more presidential? Supposed to be a grand scheme to get out of the debates? Show strong leadership?

    It doesn't show any of that, it just makes McCain look ever more clueless, ever more tone deaf to the public, ever more desperate.

    I think we're seeing the meltdown of McCain and his campaign, and the repubs in DC must be straining to keep the smiles on their faces. Probably wearing neck braces to keep the head shaking to a minimum.


    I think so, too (none / 0) (#57)
    by sj on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 05:58:28 PM EST
    My first thoughts were that it was an opportunity to:

    1.  Score some "looking presidential" points,
    2.  Save a little money by suspending for a day or two, and
    3.  On the off-chance it worked, give his VP choice a few more days to prep.

    I don't think it did any of those things.

    But I have to wonder (rather wickedly, I'm afraid) which format Obama is dreading the most.  I'm pretty sure that McC is dreading a debate.  He's already been playing the "lower the expectations" game.  

    This could be a serious debacle.  I don't know if I have the fortitude to watch it.  I mean, I have to.  I'm looking for a reason to vote for Obama.  But I have the personality type that gets empathetically mortified when some one makes a fool of him/herself.  So I'll watch it, but I feel a bit like Ed Grimley myself.


    How's this? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:25:58 PM EST
    I'm looking for a reason to vote for Obama.

    Here's one.  His opponent is John McCain, and the VP candidate is Sarah Palin.

    Here's another.  The Supreme Court.


    Nope (none / 0) (#64)
    by sj on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:49:51 PM EST
    Those are reasons to NOT vote for McCain.  Which I am already not doing.  

    What?  You think I haven't been paying attention? I assure you that I have and I am.  And the SCOTUS arguments have been used and used and used and used.  They worked on me, too.  Until I had a chance to see how the leadership of my party really felt about women.  

    But go ahead, if you want, and re-ruffle those feathers.  Or pick at that scab.  Or whatever metaphor you prefer.  'Cause that'll really help me to get over it.


    I guess you got me there (none / 0) (#65)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:14:56 PM EST
    Those are reasons to NOT vote for McCain.  Which I am already not doing.

    Okay, vote for Barr.


    And the SCOTUS arguments have been used and used and used and used.  They worked on me, too.  Until I had a chance to see how the leadership of my party really felt about women.

    Yeah, they want to keep Roe v. Wade on the books.  Bummer.  What is your preferred alternative to Roe v. Wade?

    So are you voting for someone?  Who and why?


    Alternative to Roe v. Wade? (none / 0) (#68)
    by sj on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 10:39:16 PM EST
    Something stronger, and done at the federal level so that states can't encroach.  

    And I don't know if I'm voting for someone at the top of the ticket.  McKinney maybe, if Obama can't give a reason to vote for him.  That's why I have to watch the debates.  

    As for downticket, it's Democratic all the way.  And I am voting.  I'm not sitting it out.


    You're right (none / 0) (#29)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:55:39 PM EST
    There is no way McCain could possibly come out of this looking foolish, none at all.

    Can you imagine ( :-) ) what the weary Repubs (none / 0) (#34)
    by Christy1947 on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:58:49 PM EST
    who have been hammering this out will say if he tries to say he flew in and was the hero of the day, whether this goes forward or not? Somehow I do not think they will be agreeing with him.

    Heh (none / 0) (#51)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 04:30:14 PM EST
    There is no way he will not be attending the debate.  He's not going to let Obama get free air time to absolutely pummel him on national TV.  

    The longer he waits the more he looks like his limping back into the debate.

    I don't see how this turns out well for him.  


    Ah, but there's "expectations kabuki" (none / 0) (#52)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 04:34:35 PM EST
    courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor today:

    Reporters were ready to break out their violins and shed a tear when Robert Gibbs launched into his assessment of Barack Obama's debating skills.  "I think you come away from watching Senator Obama understanding that this isn't his strong suit," Mr. Gibbs, Obama's communications director, told a Monitor breakfast Thursday. "Sometimes it takes 60 seconds for him to clear his throat. . . ."

    Aides to both candidates were busy setting expectations for debate performance -- a time-honored tradition in the game of politics. . . .
    A top aide to Senator McCain praised Obama's debating prowess at a Monitor luncheon. "We know Senator Obama is a phenomenal debater," he said, as reporters chuckled. He is "one of the most gifted orators that we've seen."

    On Thursday, one could not be blamed for thinking Gibbs was describing a completely different person when he talked about Obama's debate habits: "He tends to get a question, describe the problem, tell a story, give some solutions, and you pray to God that that isn't 45 seconds longer than you've been allotted to speak."

    "Senator McCain goes into this with a decided advantage, having staked his candidacy on 26 years of Washington experience and foreign policy experience," Gibbs said. . . .

    And it went on from there with more posturing.


    Of course (none / 0) (#56)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 05:51:10 PM EST
    both sides want to be viewed as the underdog.  Makes winning much easier.

    I will never forget (none / 0) (#58)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:17:34 PM EST
    when they said Kerry was the best debater since Cicero.

    LOL (none / 0) (#71)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 11:30:26 PM EST
    I still cannot believe that Kerry was considered our best option in 2004.

    At least Gore go screwed for being too competent, a counter-intuitive and ridiculous criticism but at least I can credit the GOP for effective spin.  Kerry was terrible from Day 1.


    Yeh, but don't you this is (none / 0) (#72)
    by Cream City on Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 11:23:11 AM EST
    classic funny stuff?  (I like CSM's writing.)

    Hasn't McCain (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:21:33 PM EST
    already agreed to do the debate since the bailout bill is done?

    where did (none / 0) (#8)
    by eric on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:30:29 PM EST
    you hear that?

    You gotta link? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:30:52 PM EST
    On Yahoo (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:37:03 PM EST
    the AP is reporting that McCain hasn't officially agreed to the debate. Haley Barbour is saying that it's going to happen though so imagine it will.

    I can give you a link to it if you want. The article is not very favorable to Obama though.


    Sounds like you (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:39:43 PM EST
    have refuted yourself.

    No need for a link.


    Heh, (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:40:46 PM EST
    more like answered my own question.

    Seemed like a rhetorical question (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:52:48 PM EST
    Especially coming from you.

    Exactly what I hoped Obama would do (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:22:12 PM EST
    Just say, "I'll be there. Feel free to come if you like."

    Good for Obama! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by clio on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:29:55 PM EST
    Exactly what he ought to do.  Americans are eager to hear and see  political leaders answering questions and engaging their concerns.  Bush certainly isn't doing so.

    If McCain is too uncertain or too bankrupt of ideas to appear on Friday he will leave Obama alone with American voters for hour or so in prime time on all 4 networks.


    For all those who got in my face yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:53:24 PM EST
    and rated me down when I called McSame a coward for backing out of the debate, told us it was smart, or a good strategy for McCain, or told us it was harmful to Obama to point out that McSame broke under pressure before and was making up for it and that all my harsh talk was making you think about feeling sympathy for a Republican, and then went on to decry the purported decline in standards on this site because I had the temerity to strike hard blows, but accurate and fair, especially when I noted that McCain was showing both his age and anger himself to be afraid to face Obama one on one.

    Well, the more historically minded among us went out and found that Ducking the Debate is a Standard Move on the Double-Talk Express that is the McSame Campaign.  Back in the 2000 primaries, when his poll numbers were tanking, McCain ducked out on a debate with - of all people - George W. Bush.  The lede:

    With new polls showing his campaign dead in the water among California Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain has pulled out of a long-scheduled debate with Texas Gov. George Bush, set for Thursday in Los Angeles.

    That's right:  poll numbers go down - duck the debate.

    And the excuses are the same, too. Blame it on the other guy:

    Top campaign officials attributed McCain's decision to Bush's earlier reluctance to appear at the debate.

    ``We had agreed to do this debate a long time ago, and Gov. Bush said he wasn't going to do it,'' McCain spokesman Howard Opinsky said yesterday. ``We aren't going to hold our schedule together forever.''

    And then there's the old "reschedule" gambit:

    But Opinsky said McCain will debate Bush on NBC's ``Meet the Press'' Sunday, a national TV show that will reach millions of Americans.

    And, as he's doing today and last week, the rapid 180 and denial there ever was a prior course is another of his standard moves:

    Still, just last week, the McCain campaign was openly derisive of Bush's reluctance to commit to a California debate -- and promised its own candidate would be there.

    But, he didn't give a sh*t.

    When are the clowns among you who look for a reason to support or excuse McSame's behavior, or to mollify the Republicans, going to wake up and recognize that they are selling you a bill of goods, they sell you the same bill of goods every time, and you are now and have been in the past stupid, deluded or forgetful enough to swallow it whole every time?

    It's the same bullsh*t express, over and over.  Only this time, if he dies of the cancer he has but after winning, he gets to throw the smallpox-laden blankey that is Sarah Palin into your house.

    Wake the f*ck up, already.

    I do not get (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:00:20 PM EST
    how any of this means it's ok for you to bring up McCain's performance under torture as a POW.

    No one, except maybe a couple random PUMAs, said it was wrong of you to accuse McCain of political shenanigans for trying to duck the debate.  Heck, that's the consensus view around here.

    Most folks have a pretty good sense of what crosses the line and what does not.  Your dramatic efforts at self-justification notwithstanding, I suspect people will continue to call you out when you cross that line, and continue to agree with you when you make a fair point.


    Huh? (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:23:15 PM EST
    McCain is desperate to get Obama to a town hall, not for the debate, but because it's the only way he can fill anything larger than a high school gym.

    There is no reason for Obama to look weak by agreeing to do something for McCain that he has never agreed to do.  OTOH, McCain AGREED to meet Obama on Friday, then chickened out.

    Which is worse, not doing something that you ne ver said you would do, or not doing something that DID agree to do?

    Obama played this just right.  Now McCain has the option of giving the evening to Obama, or looking like a guy who blinked.

    NC (none / 0) (#2)
    by jedimom on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:20:47 PM EST
    isnt it weird how it is like similar events to the nomination campaign playing out again? Didnt Obama cancel on the NC debate so Hillary did a town hall with George Stephanopolous instead?

    IIRC on CNBC just a bit ago one, so sorry cant remember who,l of the Congresspersons said they think the Hill sees Monday before the Asian Markets open as the deadline not Fridays US markets open

    I know it was Adam Putnam from FL!
    Are they trying to push back the debate to Monday maybe?

    Hillary's townhall (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:26:57 PM EST
    meeting with G. Steph. on ABC was not related to the cancelled NC debate that was to air on CBS with Katie Couric.

    Yes, Obama canceled the NC debate (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:37:32 PM EST
    late, and it really ticked off the Dems there who had a lot of costs already incurred.  May not have helped him in trying to win the state.  As if.

    How quickly we forget... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:46:15 PM EST
    Obama did win the North Carolina primary, and rather handily.

    Sure, the primary. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:12:13 PM EST
    Not relevant now.  And doesn't change that he cancelled on the debate and that it ticked off some NC'ers, now, does it?  So your point is. . . .?

    Ah, wait. I get the point now -- (none / 0) (#45)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:14:55 PM EST
    McCain cancelling out on the debate tomorrow means that he will win in November.

    That's what you meant, I'm sure.  Not irrelevant at all, after all -- unless, of course, we look at all that has happened since the primary you cite.


    Look, CC, I'm not the one here still ruminating (none / 0) (#66)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:36:57 PM EST
    over old slights, and picking at old scabs. I didn't start telling stories about the NC primary -- you did. I simply reminded you how that primary turned out.

    Let me get you straight, CC. You argue in your post #44 that my point is "Not relevant now," because that was the primary. Of course I was talking about the primary. I said I was talking about the primary. I was responding to you, and you were talking about the primary.

    Three minutes later, you intentionally, or perhaps would-be humorously, misrepresent my post as saying that ducking the debate somehow favors McCain's chances. CC, that argument is absurd on its face -- so absurd I wouldn't even bother to say so, except that you have been trying to mangle all reason to get to this very conclusion, in post after post. Then you say that now my post IS relevant after all -- unless we consider current events, in which case it presumably becomes irrelevant again.

    CC, no offense, but I'm not used to all this doublethink. I get dizzy. I think we're all getting a little tired of your manufactured outrage and over-nursed grievances.


    No, I didn't bring up NC (none / 0) (#73)
    by Cream City on Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 11:24:14 AM EST
    I was replying to a post that did.  Take up your issues with someone else, I have no time for this.


    I said that you were talking about the NC primary  in the comment that I answered. And clearly, you were.

    And surprise! It turns out your initial comment was verifiably false. See below.


    Besides, the record shows Obama never broke any (none / 0) (#67)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 08:04:02 PM EST
    commitment to debate Hillary Clinton in North Carolina. After five months, I was a little fuzzy on the details, but the New York Times backs me up on this:

    April 21, 2008, 6:28 pm
    N.C. Debate Officially Canceled
    By Brian Stelter

    Will Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton debate again? Maybe -- but not on April 27.

    The North Carolina Democratic Party said Monday that the forum in that state, scheduled for next Sunday night, had been canceled. Mr. Obama had not committed to the date. [Emphasis added.] The cancellation comes as a disappointment for CBS, which had offered the candidates prime air time after the newsmagazine "60 Minutes" for the debate. Katie Couric, the anchor of the "CBS Evening News," would have moderated the debate.

    The cancellation was because of political considerations by both candidates, said Paul Friedman, a senior vice president at CBS News.

    Even if he had committed to a North Carolina debate -- which he didn't -- that would have been the last of 23 debates, not the first of three.

    I don't know why I bother wiping up after your falsehoods.


    Don't understand this (none / 0) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:25:35 PM EST
    Midday news here, in reporting on possible McCain no-show tomorrow night, said that there is some concern that going ahead without McCain would be a violation of the "equal time" rules. I have no idea what the reporter was talking about. Didn't we toss any pretense of "equal time" rules in broadcasting out the window ages ago?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:30:32 PM EST
    The reporter clearly is repeating something a McCain person told them.

    And the contribution issue was long settled - Media is exempt from those rules.

    Too many people get their info based on West Wing episodes.


    Not to mention (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:32:58 PM EST
    surely issuing an invitation to the opposing candidate, and having them decline, would be fully sufficient to satisfy any imaginable 'equal time' rule!  Otherwise, McCain could prevent Obama from ever doing an interview with the media simply by refusing to do any himself.

    Sure (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:39:20 PM EST
    But there is no equal time rule that applies to the media.

    Kos had a war about including blogs in that exemption all last year.


    TV and Radio (none / 0) (#30)
    by eric on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:56:20 PM EST
    licensees do have an equal time requirement.  See 47 USC 317.

    Not really (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:59:11 PM EST
    Does the statute (none / 0) (#70)
    by eric on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 10:57:18 PM EST
    not say what it says?

    LOL (none / 0) (#50)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 04:21:04 PM EST
    Good one.

    That was a silly episode.


    The rules do still exist (4.00 / 1) (#13)
    by eric on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:35:05 PM EST
    but normally, debates qualify as news events, and are exempt.  Of course, if it fails to be a debate because one party refuses to show up, then is it still exempt?  Who knows.  I would say yes, since it is a voluntary waiver of equal time.

    What rule? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:40:56 PM EST
    ?You mean the contribution rule? There is no Fairness Doctrine.

    Media (including blogs) are exempt. Kos fought that battle last year.


    This has nothing to do with the (none / 0) (#28)
    by eric on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:54:11 PM EST
    Fairness Doctrine.  It has to do with the equal time rule in 47 USC 315.

    Exemptions are:

    (1) bona fide newscast,
    (2) bona fide news interview,
    (3) bona fide news documentary (if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary), or
    (4) on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events (including but not limited to political conventions and activities incidental thereto),

    Debates are exempt as news events.

    But to be clear, the TV and Radio media do still have to abide by the law.  It comes with their licenses.


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:57:54 PM EST
    That law is ridiculous on its face. Every appearance by a pol is news.

    Tell me exactly when and how that law has EVER been enforced.


    Looked at Westlaw, (none / 0) (#49)
    by eric on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:45:11 PM EST
    looks like their are LOTS of cases addressing the law.  Reading through the cases, it is clear that there IS an equal time rule that applies to Radio and TV licensees.  They also have to keep records about the time they allow.

    Now yes, news events are exempt.  Debates are news events.  End of story.

    The only problem comes when a station gives a candidate a platform upon which to speak.  Then, they have to provide the other candidate time to speak, as well.


    Give me some cites (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 05:32:57 PM EST
    I am not goign to waste my time looking for the cases you say exist. Just give me a few cites.

    Why not ask politely? n/t (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by rilkefan on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:33:01 PM EST
    Indeed (none / 0) (#69)
    by eric on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 10:53:51 PM EST
    I can't use my work's Westlaw too much without a reason.  But suffice it to say that there is a plethora of cases that discuss this statute in the context of equal time.

    It is ridiculous to say that this statute doesn't say what it says.  Now, looking at the case law, it does appear that most challenges have been rebuffed.  It is mostly admin law stuff.  But the Court has repeatedly affirmed the idea of equal time.

    If one were to argue that the idea of "equal time" is not the law, one would be wrong.  There are exceptions, yes.  Like I posted earlier, there are several exceptions.

    To say that this law doesn't have any effect is ridiculous.

    However, in an example that fits an illustration, if "channel 5" here in town would give 5 minutes to Obama to lay out his plan for whatever, they would absolutely be bound to offering that same amount of time to McCain.

    To say that this law is nonexistent is simply wrong.


    No, FEC rulings (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:08:47 PM EST
    have said that Debates are special events and not news.  The broadcast networks can not air Obama alone without giving McCain equal time later.  There may be leeway for the cablke networks though.

    This from XM Potus 08 this afternoon.


    Friday's debate (none / 0) (#11)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:32:20 PM EST
    is scheduled to be on the topic of National Security.  If they change that and debate about the economy instead, does that mean they will change the 3rd and final debate to national security since it is supposed to be about the economy?

    It doesn't matter (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:38:17 PM EST
    what the topic is 'supposed to be!'

    They're pols.  They'll talk about whatever the Hell they want to talk about (and tie it in somehow if necessary).


    It;ll be the economy (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:41:26 PM EST
    and the bailout.

    Yup. (none / 0) (#35)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:59:02 PM EST
    And anything else one of them wants to segway to...

    Uh...segue... (none / 0) (#37)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:59:54 PM EST
    ...always wanted to try one of those things!

    Besides, how can McCain go around (none / 0) (#31)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:57:03 PM EST
    starting all the wars he wants to start without the money to pay for it?

    China is only going to play along and buy our bonds for so long...  so long as it serves their interests to have us busting up the joint so they can move in as the Bringers of Peace.

    So, every debate is going to be about the economy.  Period.


    There was a news article this morning (none / 0) (#39)
    by Christy1947 on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:02:22 PM EST
     in NYT that a lot of the foreign banks have taken a pass on a lot of this, and say it is our problem.

    That was what the Euro central bankers (none / 0) (#42)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:10:29 PM EST
    were saying, as reported in European media, over the weekend and early this week.

    Events have moven pretty quickly, so I am unsure, but they may have even been saying that last week.

    Following European media, they had reported earlier in the year that some banks which had invested heavily in the US mortgage market were having problems.  I recall one, the Sachsische Landesbank (State Bank of Saxony) had failed this past spring from bad US mortgage investments and was taken over by another German bank.  From the lack of current reporting on European bank problems happening right now in regard to US mortgage investments, I suspect that they have managed to either unwind whatever hinky investments they may have had, or to lay off the liabilities through other transactions and/or swaps.

    That the German prosecutors have been going through the Sachsiche LB with a fine-toothed comb and pulling out crooked/inept/disloyal or plain old stupid bankers seems to have concentrated the other bankers' attention on doing their jobs properly.  They seem to have a good handle on white-collar stuff over there - in the sense of making cases appropriately - probably b/c Germany treats tax cheating and business fraud with a rigor that would drive our IRS haters into reaching for the flintlock over the mantel.


    McCain is a fool (none / 0) (#23)
    by TomStewart on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:49:10 PM EST
    not to show. I'm sure he'll be there, trying to take credit for anything not nailed down, and ragging on Obama for not following his example and shutting down his campaign.

    McCain, what a trainwreck. I'm assuming people are getting their book deals ready.

    If the Obama camp were smart, (none / 0) (#32)
    by Left of center on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:57:42 PM EST
    they would also have a cardboard cutout of McCain in the back round as Obama answers questions.

    McCain will show up (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:10:22 PM EST
    The thought of anyone being afraid to debate Obama is ludicrous.

    Yeah, (none / 0) (#62)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:34:18 PM EST
    Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law is overrated.

    After all, McCain graduated in the bottom 1% of his class at Annapolis, and he's damn lucky his daddy and granddaddy were both 4-star admirals with enough pull to get him there and keep him there in spite of his academic ineptness.

    The intellectual chasm between the two is equivalent to the distance between galaxies.

    Why would anyone bet on the dumb guy?


    So, I guess it was never the townhall (none / 0) (#47)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:18:17 PM EST
    format Obama objected to, it was having to present himself for scrutiny alongside McCain, on turf where McCain typically excels.

    McCain should call Obama's bluff, jump at the townhall suggestion and agree to appear by satellite from DC.

    This could get interesting.

    Nope (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by rilkefan on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:43:50 PM EST
    It was not agreeing to McCain's desire to have more debates than needed.  McCain was and is losing, so he wanted more debates.  It's that simple.

    Oy vey (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 05:31:22 PM EST
    How much do you people hate Obama?

    What a ridiculous comment.


    You're wrong (none / 0) (#63)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 06:37:56 PM EST
    McCain can't fill a high school gym, and Obama can fill a stadium.

    Obama doesn't need to do McCain favors by bringing him an audience that he couldn't get by himself.

    McCain AGREED to the debates, and he should live up to his agreement.  Obama never agreed to a townhall, and there is no reason for him to do so now.

    Do you really want John McCain appointing the next three SCOTUS justices?