From the WTF file

McCain feels the need to suspend his campaign (whatever that means), cancel debates, and rush back to Washington to do…what, exactly?

By all accounts Congress has pretty much hammered out the details of the mega-bailout and Treasury has agreed to their terms. What’s left for a guy who hasn’t done squat in the Senate for the last 2 years to do? Show up and try and take credit for others’ work in a vain attempt to stop his slide in the polls?

Some fun perspective from past elections from Eric Rauchway:

  • September 24, 1864: The nation is literally at risk of collapse, engaged in a large-scale civil war: “Yet the campaign for the presidency was “now being prosecuted with the utmost vigor,” as one could read in the New York Times.”
  • September 24, 1932: The nation is mired in Depression, coping with it a full time job, “Yet Herbert Hoover prepared to give a large speech in Iowa and Franklin Roosevelt had just given what became a famous address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.”
  • September 24, 1944: World War II well under way, with the United States engaged in fierce fighting, “Yet President Roosevelt had just officially launched his campaign for a fourth term, while Thomas Dewey took his turn speaking in San Francisco, challenging Roosevelt’s supremacy.”

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