When blogger Dirty Harry came over to my place so we could drive together to Simi Valley to see the Gipper’s Hellcats of the Navy on the big screen, I was still ambivalent about McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign. Â I shared my post on the topic with him.
In the car, he read me his from the blackberry: Â “This could look like a a serious act of leadership on McCain’s part or the act of a candidate up against the wall hoping to shake things up in his favor.” Â I remarked that despite our difference in styles, we reached similar conclusions. Â (Read the whole thing; it’s short and to the point.)
As we drove to Simi Valley, we started discussing how independent voters would perceive it. Â He read some poll on the internet which suggested it would play well. Â We began to feel increasingly despondent. WhenÂ a Democratic friend called, I told him (via blue tooth of course) I thought the move was “foolhardy” and would likely work to Obama’s advantage.
A few moments later, D.H. started reading Ed Morrissey’s post on how John McCain called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bluff by agreeing to come to Washington. Â That Democrat had abruptly changed his tune when the Arizona Republican said he would do just that. Â (Again, read the whole thing.)
Maybe this move was as shrewd as it had occasionally appeared to me this afternoon. Â We became cautiously optimistic (note that accent on the adverb.)
Then, D.H.’s Â wife, the Hot Little Number, called him to inform him that Obama had capitulated and agreed to come to Washington for a summit organized by President Bush.
McCain’s gambit had paid off. Â That we knew by the Hot Little Number’s description of the talking heads at CNN: Â they looked like kids who just had their bicycles taken away. Â Even Mark Halperin agreed that only McCain could have pulled off such a thing.
We were exuberant. Â From despondency to exuberance in the space of an hour. Â How quick the landscape shifts in this election. Â
I don’t think this will be the last time in 2008 we experience such campaign whiplash.