“The day began with an agreement that Washington hoped would end the financial crisis that has gripped the nation. It dissolved into a verbal brawl in the Cabinet Room of the White House, urgent warnings from the president and pleas from a Treasury secretary who knelt before the House speaker and appealed for her support…By 10:30 p.m., after another round of talks, Congressional negotiators gave up for the night and said they would try again on Friday.” 
[Talks Implode During Day of Chaos; Fate of Bailout Plan Remains Unresolved via NYT]

The economy is in shambles, mirroring and eclipsing a wrecked Galveston, TX. McCain supposedly is placing priorities over politics: suspending his campaign, rushing to work on the $700B bailout plan, and declaring (early this week) that he will not attend Friday’s presidential debate until a deal is made. In the midst of an economic crisis, this is a poorly disguised political stunt. I am confident that the debate will go on – there’s no reason for it not to.

“It’s my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess,” Obama told reporters at a news conference in Florida. “It’s going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.”

The prospect of postponing Friday’s debate rankled network executives, who have invested substantial resources in the infrastructure needed to carry the event live. Finding another block of TV time would be difficult. The coming month is crowded with fall television premiers, National Football League games and Major League Baseball playoffs. “Every network in America has that time laid out,” Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said on the air Wednesday. “There are thousands of people en route to Oxford, Miss., at this point. For seven months they’ve been working on this.” [John McCain seeks to postpone debate via LA Times]

Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist, said the debate is the most important thing the candidates could do right now. “It’s preposterous that we can’t have a presidential debate in the middle of this economic crisis. We had a presidential campaign in 1864, when Sherman was marching on Atlanta. We had a presidential election in 1944, when D-Day was going on in Normandy,” he said. “We can have a debate on Friday. In fact, it’s probably the most important thing McCain and them could be doing, would be to debate the issues.”…

Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday accused the Republicans of looking for a “distraction.” …Democrats have also implied that McCain is trying to buy more time for vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. McCain suggested having the presidential debate take the place of next Thursday’s vice presidential debate, and moving that one to a later date. [McCain’s move: Putting priorities or politics first? via CNN]

“I have never seen a presidential or vice presidential nominee, in my lifetime, be so inaccessible to the national media,” said Howard Kurtz, a Washington Post and CNN media critic. This week, Palin met with international leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations’ General Assembly meetings in New York, but once again, she was largely shielded from reporters.”
[Palin mingles with media in rare Q&A via CNN]

Palin is being babied and shielded from the media. On her little tour to meet and greet with world leaders, reporters and photographers were allowed in for all of five minutes, before being ushered out. I tire of seeing her on the news (coverage of Palin generally lacks substance). Her unscripted sit-down interview with Katie Couric was a complete embarrassment. I pity her.

When asked for an example of McCain (in his 26 years of being in Congress) leading the chargemore regulation on Wall St, she replied, “I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.” See below for interview transcript excerpts:

See also: