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Is McCain Ducking The Debate Because The 'Economy' Will Be Included?

(Oliver) I've always felt that in the debates, America will finally see Obama and McCain side by side discussing important issues and for those that

(Oliver) I've always felt that in the debates, America will finally see Obama and McCain side by side discussing important issues and for those that are undecided, decisions will be made. I've written that the debates are essential for Obama to pull ahead and stay there all the way to November. And the imagery alone will favor Obama. He looks confident, reassuring and strong while McCain looks tired and haggard. His face visibly shows the wear and tear of the campaign. That's important in our pop culture world.

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I thought that the economy should have been the first topic that's debated by Obama and McCain because of the awful shape we find ourselves in. Friday's topic was supposed to be "national security," but Marc Ambinder writes:

Friday's Debate Will Focus In Part On The Economy
24 Sep 2008 08:00 pm
It has to, right?

How could Jim Lehrer, a newsman, not ask about the economy?

Well, he will.

A senior Obama adviser says that the CPD has told both campaigns that there will be questions about the economic crisis during Friday's debate. They were told this last week...

Since McCain knew about this last week I wonder if he's trying to duck out because in all the polling that's been done, Obama has a substantial lead on the economy. He pulled his stunt yesterday even though he's not involved in any committee, but it looks like the debate will take place without him. And now there's some thought saying that McCain will vote against the new bill.

CQPolitics:

Interestingly, when President Bush addressed the nation just minutes later, he essentially agreed to the exact same set of principles in his own speech. So the question is: Why wouldn't McCain agree to a fairly innocuous, Mom and apple pie set of conditions for a bill?

Democrats fear this morning that McCain is setting up a scenario in which he will vote against the bill, rally conservatives to his side and, most importantly, distance himself from both President Bush and Congress before the election.

As Digby says:

One thing you can bet on is that if McCain votes for the bill, he will certainly take credit for having knocked the heads together to make it happen. And if it happens before tomorrow, he'll say it was a result of his cunning, well-timed threat to cancel the debate and force a resolution. I don't think it will work, but it's all he's got.

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