Country first *UPDATED*

I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed as all get out by McCain’s decision to stop campaigning for a while and serve his country during what may be the most significant economic crisis since 1929:

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

Because of McCain’s consistent record of service to his country, this does not look like campaign grandstanding.  It looks like the real deal.

And because McCain has consistently sought to debate with Obama — and Obama has always run shy — it also doesn’t look as if McCain is running from the upcoming debate this Friday (which McCain has asked to have postponed).

Speaking of running from debates, this is one debate — the one where he’s standing opposite an empty podium — that Obama doesn’t want to miss.  He has refused McCain’s request that they set aside campaigning for a few days and get down to the business of helping this country through a major financial crisis.

Harry Reid’s statement supporting Obama was predictably stupid:  “Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued a statement saying the debate should go on because ‘we need leadership, not a campaign photo op.'”  If I understand this correctly, rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on an imminent crisis that needs to be addressed immediately is not leadership, it’s a photo op.  Appearing on a stage for a two hour debate that could just as easily be rescheduled to another day, is leadership, not a photo op.  Bizarro World, my dear readers, Bizarro World.

John McCain — Country First

Barack Obama — Obama First

John McCain — Country First

Barack Obama — Debates Only Without Opponents

John McCain — Country First

Barack Obama — Not Ready to Lead

(BTW, here’s James Taranto with some of the political manuvering that led up to McCain’s surprise move, which had it’s genesis in an Obama initiated effort to force McCain to sign off on a Democratic bill.  Not only did McCain refuse to do so, he also made Obama look incredibly selfish.)

UPDATEConfederate Yankee has a great suggestion for Friday’s debate, if Obama insists on going ahead with it.