You know, if John McCain should lose this election (he won’t, but if hypothetically he did) he could immediately begin a new career as a chess player.  These moves by the McCain campaign get more and more brilliant by the minute.  It is to the point where even the Republicans don’t know what is coming next.  Now if we’re all that far off-balance, how teeter-tottery do the Obamabots have to be?

Suspending the campaign and the debate in order to return to Washington to hammer out this bailout deal–that’s a stroke of guts and genius that, frankly, I’m not sure another person in American could have made.  The move does five distinct, and incredibly important, things:

First, and most importantly, it puts Barack Obama squarely in a corner from which he has no good escape.  THERE IS NOTHING BARACK OBAMA CAN DO AT THIS POINT THAT DOES NOT IN SOME WAY UNDERMINE HIM.  His options are limited.  He can ignore McCain’s call for his own return to Washington, in which case he looks like an opportunist who is only interested in his own political future, not the welfare of the country.   He can’t take this option without whining about McCain and the move, which will make him look even more weak.  He’s already pretty much a pansy and this would just make that picture all the more vivid.  The only other thing he can do is to suspend his own campaign and join McCain, in which case he’s clearly stepping to John McCain’s tune; this assuredly paints Obama as a follower and not a leader at all.  Additionally, with all the recent talk about racial undertones, any agreement to join McCain in Washington would clearly throw Obama into a “yassir, Mr. McCain” light and that cannot be in any way good for The Annointed One.  There is no tenable position in this for Obama, and his campaign knows it.

The second thing that’s so brilliant about this is it shoves the whole bailout issue right back in the face of Congressional Democrats who were trying to play politics with it.  They made clear that they would not support any bailout unless John McCain agreed to it also.  This was clearly an attempt to paint McCain as a weakling who had to step to THEIR tune, as well as giving themselves an out if things failed–“well, McCain was in favor of it too!”.  By stepping up to the plate and calling their bluff, McCain has clearly dictated the terms of the issue and has said, in effect, “bring it on”.  By taking this bold move, McCain is now setting the agenda, setting the conditions, and setting the timetable.  If this doesn’t look Presidential, I don’t know what does.  More importantly, it throws the blame for any inactivity back SQUARELY onto the do-nothing Congress, who are already roundly disliked nationwide.   This will raise McCain’s political stock significantly, but it will also raise the GOP stock across the board.

Third, this alters the headlines away from the “lead” that Barack Obama and his in-the-bag press surrogates are trying to claim he’s building.  I’m going to say this again, and repeat it until November 5–BARACK OBAMA IS LOSING THIS ELECTION–but the press is going to come out and say that he’s opening up a wide gap now and that McCain is finished, in the hopes that GOP spirits will be dashed and Republicans won’t come out to vote.  By making this move now, at the same time this “widening lead” chorus is entering the choir loft, attention is diverted toward McCain and puts him back in the spotlight.  The “widening lead” issue will be a minor story which will last for a couple of days, but will disappear as McCain and his surrogates build the case of President McCain and his Economic Strategy.  It’s an amazing political move, shrewdly executed, at exactly the right time.

Fourth, this throws the Obama camp into a message mess.  What exactly do they say now?  How do they spin this?  How does this affect Obama’s debate prep?  What do they prepare for?  When do they even get to debate?  Once again John McCain is putting the Obama camp on the defensive, making them answer rather than ask the questions.  This always throws Obama, who absolutely cannot think on his feet, and Biden, who absolutely can’t open his mouth without saying something colossally stupid, completely to the wind.  It’s going to be fun to watch as they struggle for footing again.

And lastly, it’s going to give McCain the opening he’s been wanting all along.  HERE’S WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN…the ENTIRE Obama nation is going to cry “coward” toward John McCain.  They’re going to claim McCain is afraid to debate Obama (which even those dolts should know is patently absurd), and EVEN OBAMA’S OWN PEOPLE are going to be screaming for the two candidates to square off.  Well, John McCain has been screaming for this himself for months, and Barack Obama has been denying him.  Now, with all sides clamoring for it, John McCain will call Obama out–and this time the whiney little loser will have no choice…he’ll have to accept.  Point McCain, who again gets to set the terms and have Barack Obama stepping to a tune John the Warrior is calling.  Remember, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST…that is absolutely what is going to happen.

This is the shrewdest move any politician has ever tried, to my recollection.  It’s gutsy, calculated, good for the country and more importantly good for McCain.  There’s only one part of this that works against him, and that is that the American people will be disappointed there won’t be a “cage match” this Friday.  We’ve all been looking forward to it, and at first we’re going to be a little upset–BUT THAT UPSET WON’T LAST FOR LONG because you can be certain the McCain team has a debate planned.  It may even occur on Friday!  The thing is, it’s going to occur on John McCain’s terms, and there’s not a damned thing Barack Obama can do about it now.  BRILLIANT, absolutely brilliant.