So I was kind of thinking tonight since John McCain has suspended his campaign. To catch you up: He's "invited" Barack to join him by suspending his campaign until the bailout plan is done. McCain has also said he's not going to participate in the debate on Friday unless the bailout is done.
Well, that's nice. John McCain, who has admitted the economy isn't exactly his strong suit, has decided the economy is suddenly his area of expertise. Lovely.
But what about the economy of Oxford, Mississippi (the home of Ole Miss where Friday's debate will be held)? Let me tell you about it. And I happen to know a little about this area because my mom's entire family is from Batesville, Mississippi, just down the road from Oxford (about 30 minutes away) and Ole Miss was on my college short list (I still thank God I dodged that bullet not because Ole Miss is a bad school, it's not. I'm grateful I stayed away from my family.). That area of Mississippi is very rural and in 2000, the median household income in Oxford was $20,526 with 31% of the Oxford population living below the poverty level.
According to Ole Miss officials, they've spent $5.5 million preparing for and putting on this debate. They've closed of streets, built the whole set and more. Cancelling the debate would be devestating to Ole Miss. And they don't think they can easily just reschedule, which is McCain's suggestion.
Now it's my belief that this debate should happen. I agree with Obama that it's important for Americans to hear from their leaders. But if McCain can't be bothered to show up, well that's his choice. I'd be happy with Obama talking to us for an hour with McCain's empty chair just sitting there.
BUT both John McCain and Barack Obama are senators and maybe they should be doing the jobs they were hired to do. And maybe that means going back to DC and working on this whole mess. (Again, I'm not sure I really believe either of them would be more than an unnecessary distraction, but I'm trying to see the other side here). And if that's the case, then maybe their debate should be postponed.
McCain has suggested that this Friday's debate be moved to Thursday, October 2nd. Does that sound familiar for any reason? That's right! It's currently the date of the vice presidential debate at the Washington University in St. Louis. And McCain says we can just reschedule the VP debate later at Ole Miss.
That sucks as an idea. What the heck is he thinking?
Here's my idea:
Barack Obama should call McCain's bluff. He should say, "John, I've heard your proposal to reschedule our debate until October 2nd because of the economic crisis. I'm concerned about this economic crisis too. But I'm ALSO concerned about the economy in Oxford, Mississippi. [then toss out some facts about the economy and the costs to Ole Miss.] So here's what I propose: we'll be happy to move the debate to October 2nd IF the vice presidential debate can be this Friday, September 26th. I don't want Oxford to be out $5.5 million. Joe's happy and ready to step in at a moment's notice because that's the job of the vice president."
Obviously Sarah Palin can't be ready by Friday and so John McCain would say no and look like a gigantic ass.
Win-win for us.