Op-Ed: McCain Calls for Timeout from Walking to Chew Gum

Posted Sep 24, 2008 by Brad Sylvester
John McCain's call for a suspension of the presidential campaign while he focuses on the economy shows he is either incompetent or is using the financial crisis as a cheap political ploy. Based on the recent tenor of his campaign, I vote for the latter.
John McCain
Republican presidential candidate, John McCain
Photo by Wigwam Jones
John McCain on Wednesday asked his opponent in the presidential race, Barack Obama, to suspend his campaign while they worked on the economic bailout. Apparently taking a page from the Jimmy Carter playbook of not leaving the Rose Garden until the hostages come home, McCain has said he is going to leave the campaign trail to focus on the economic bailout package. By the way, the $700 billion price tag for the bailout would equal more than $9,000 for your family of four. That’s right -- your family is being asked to pay $9,000 to help out the Big Boys on Wall Street who are trying to foreclose on your house. But I digress.
McCain is demonstrating again why he finished fifth from the bottom of his class. He apparently can only work on one problem at a time. His first act as President should the American public in its infinite wisdom decide to elect him, would therefore have to be to ask Iran, Russia, China, and Afghanistan to just take a timeout while he spends just a couple more years working on the Iraq problem. That’ll work, right? Those guys will understand that taking care of our young men and women in Iraq is his first priority (assuming he has finished saving the Big Boys on Wall Street by then), won’t they?
Of course, they won’t. In the real world, Mr. McCain, your adversaries take advantage of your distractions for their own advantage. They don’t take a time out until you’re ready. Quite the contrary, they gang up and pile on when they see you’re stretched too thin. So I say to you, John McCain, either you are not competent to be President of this country, or this call for suspension of the campaigns is a cheap political ploy. Given the recent tenor of your campaign, I’ll actually give you a little respect and guess that it’s a cheap political ploy.
Let’s assume Barack Obama accepted your offer, that would mean that Senator Biden would also need to suspend campaigning since he too would be needed in the Senate, right? Then who would be left from either ticket to campaign… Oh right, Sarah Palin, since she isn’t needed for anything at the moment. Of course, if Barack Obama doesn’t accept your offer to let you have your way with the campaign, you and your campaign operatives will find plenty of time to wail about his self-serving action of putting himself and his own ambition before the good of the American people.
The truth of the matter is that the current economic mess can be laid directly at the feet of those who have spent their entire careers in Washington fighting for deregulation at the behest of the Big Boy lobbyists from Wall Street. Guess who that might be, Mr. McCain? The other truth here is that anyone who wants to be President needs to be able to focus on more than one, and in fact many, tasks, no matter how difficult they are, all at the same time. So when you have a spare minute, you can start by walking and chewing gum at the same time. It’ll be good practice for being President, just in case you’re elected after this latest stunt.