As of this morning, the McCain campaign was adamantly denying that John McCain would necessarily vote for the Wall Street bailout bill that emerges from the current negotiations on the Hill.
Then his VP sat down to tape her third interview since being picked, and pretty much said that voting against a bailout would be disastrous.
Couric asks the vice presidential nominee if Congress failing to act on the
financial bailout that the Bush administration is proposing could risk another
"If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great
Depression?'' the CBS anchor asks the candidate in an interview airing on the
CBS Evening News.
"Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on,'' Palin
So..... you're either for the bailout, or for a depression. Pretty much boxes McCain into a corner, no?
There is another option, of course: dismiss it as a stupid response from Palin, or an "inartfully phrased" statement, as the Obama camp might say. They've been getting plenty of practice, repudiating some new Biden gaffe every day.
But Biden publicly answers a thousand questions a week, so it's no big deal for him to screw up one or two. Palin, on the other hand, is so shut off from the press that each Q&A takes on the import of some Greek oracle pronouncement. The campaign can't afford to add to her plummeting public opinion by suggesting she said something wrong.
In any event, McCain sure has made up his mind since this morning: Reuters is reporting that John McCain "will suspend [his] campaign" in order to rush to Washington and help negotiate the bailout bill. (I assume that it really means "suspend campaign appearances," because I seriously doubt they're shutting down operations in any significant way.)
Maybe McCain's sudden decisiveness has nothing to do with Palin's statement. Perhaps he's just trying to get out of Friday's debate. But it does sort of suggest that whatever Palin says, McCain has to go along with rather than publicly admit that he disagrees with it.
Kind of raises the stakes for her debate next week, don't you think?