John McCain’s “suspension” of his campaign was nothing more than a political ruse to bolster flagging poll numbers, writes Frank Rich in the New York Times. McCain didn’t acknowledge the financial turmoil until polls showed Barack Obama opening a wide lead. With damaging stories circulating in the press, McCain had to make a grand gesture —so he went to Washington, damaging a consensus for political gain.
Even after the “suspension” began, McCain’s “surrogates and ads remained on television” —all the candidate really did was cancel an appearance on Letterman. “What we learned last week is that the man who always puts his ‘country first’ will take the country down with him if that’s what it takes to get to the White House,” Rich writes.