Today the straw broke the camel's back. John McCain shocked everyone, myself included, when he announced that he would put political campaigning on the back burner to roll up his sleeves.
Normally I use my blog and forums to 'talk fellow Moms off the cliff.' But this time Moms, I will admit without apology that this is a risky move. But what does it mean?
For one, McCain has courage. Cojones. (McCainSpace blocked that word, so if you prefer, use 'bollocks' which means the same thing but is evidently not as dirty.) If ever there was a maverick campaign move, it is - well - not campaigning. (Volunteers we are not off the hook - now is a great time to do some legwork!)
Politically, McCain has abruptly popped several liberal balloons. Commercials foolishly emphasizing 'McCain is the same as Bush!' will make Obama look petty and misguided -- unlike McCain's other bucking-the-party victories, this one can't be forgotten or ignored. Obama's claims of bipartisanship, open-mindedness and accomplishment will be put to the test without a teleprompter or a proverbial net. For better or worse, our would-be leaders will have to prove their worth by (gasp) leading.
Legislatively, McCain is right on the money. He and Obama (and Biden, while we're at it), are paid and trusted to do an actual job in the Senate, and I for one am not willing to kiss away thousands of dollars of hard-earned money - or worse - because someone wanted to eat waffles and kiss babies in Scranton. Showing competence at your current job is typically a prerequisite for a promotion, so both McCain and Obama are right to use their influence now for the common good. (I would, however, love to be a fly on that wall!)
Was McCain's announcement geared to attract attention? Of course. But He Who Changeth the Seal and Dresseth Like A Greek God Throweth Not Stones. Like all McCain fans, I would love to see McCain debate Obama on foreign policy (I had even arranged child care so I could attend a McCainNation debate event). But I think that having that discussion in the current circumstances is, not to overdo the Classical analogies, "Fiddling While Rome Burns." If a delay of a few days saves thousands of homes and millions of taxpayer dollars, that time is an excellent investment.
This is not the time to play "Rock-Em Sock-Em Robots". Obama acknowledged that with words, McCain is choosing to take criticism on his shoulders now, and acknowledge it with action. As a McCain supporter, I'd love to see him grow momentum right now, but as an American whose entire life savings is in my home and a few stocks, I think McCain got it right.
You wanted change, America? You got it.