The Symbolic Grand Gesture of John McCain
John McCain is known for symbolic gestures. His latest effort is to add another sweeping piece of excitement to his campaign after his political marriage to Sarah Palin.
On September 23, John McCain called for a honorary suspension of the presidential campaign. In the ultimate act of symbolism, he cancelled all ads and campaigning. He also grandly bowed out of the first of a series of presidential debates. The idea was that John McCain and Barack Obama could hold hands in symbolic bipartisan unity to create a solution for the collapsing U.S. economy. This is also an effective way to meld the Democrats and Republicans where any unwieldy future blame might be concerned.
About 45 minutes after the McCain campaign made the symbolic gesture, Barack Obama made an emergency appearance, clearly puzzled by John McCain’s statement. Senator Obama revealed that John McCain had called him and talked to him about returning to Washington together where they were needed. Obama stated that he had agreed to be available whenever urgently needed, otherwise he would be on his scheduled campaign stops. “Part of the president’s job is to deal with more than one thing at once. In my mind it’s more important than ever.”
McCain doesn’t sit on any of the important committees and current negotiations are already in play. Still, several nameless Republican politicians appeared on a news spot telling the media that they were looking to McCain for direction and needed him in Washington. George Bush anticipated a panic without a financial resolution in his speech to the nation last night. McCain wants to prove to Americans that he is a natural leader, even as lawmakers are completing their latest deal before it goes to the House and Senate.
Everyone else involved has weighed in on the debates, which will continue as planned. What will John McCain do? Will he stubbornly cling to his decision to stay firmly esconsced in Washington or will he think better of his leadership and show up at the last minute to take part in the debate? That change in stance could also be painted as a win-win for McCain: the ultimate in sacrifice and effort for his beloved nation as he adds a comment about a simple prayer he made before he went to bed.
Clearly, John McCain hopes this latest grand gesture will propel him to superstar status as he finds his campaign slipping in the polls with less than 50 days before the election. He hopes to create a challenge to Barack Obama, who is clearly leading in opinion polls regarding the economy. So, who is acting politically?
Perhaps John McCain can make a grander statement while he is in Washington. Wednesday in Congress, Senators lamented for hours about the fact that lawmakers had neglected their promise to America concerning earmarks and pork-barrel spending. A number of Republican Senators lamented about 1200 earmarks that the House and Senate were trying to ramrod into law. John McCain could make a far more grand gesture by lending his support against earmarks and drumming up support for yet another political cause with the media. The nation would certainly swoon at his feet. ~ E. Manning