Bill Kristol is the editor of the Weekly Standard, a contributor to Fox News, and a columnist for the NY Times. He is a hard Republican Party partisan, and a hawk on military matters (a so-called 'neo-conservative'). I pay attention to him because he has connections to the very top of America's political hierarchy. There are times that through his opinions, one gets a brief glimpse inside the workings of political power. In this recent Weekly-Standard article he offers McCain some bright ideas to help him get out of the presidential debate scheduled for, um, tomorrow.
As for the question of Friday night's debate, which some in the media seem to think more important than saving the financial system--if the negotiations are still going on in D.C., McCain should offer to send Palin to debate Obama! Or he can take a break from the meetings, fly down at the last minute himself, and turn a boring foreign policy debate, in which he and Obama would repeat well-rehearsed arguments, into a discussion about leadership and decisiveness. And if the negotiations are clearly on a path to success, then McCain can say he can now afford to leave D.C., fly down, and the debate would become a victory lap for McCain.
So the action of these few days becomes more important than the talk of that hour and a half Friday night. One could even say the contrast between the two men in action becomes the true debate over who should be president. The media, being talkers and debaters, love debates, overestimate their importance, and are underestimating the possible effect of McCain's dramatic action. In the debate itself, McCain should mock the media's greater concern for gabbing than solving our economic problems, and should associate Obama with such a talk-heavy media-type approach to politics. If the race is between an energetic executive and an indecisive talker, the energetic executive should win.
For his part, Sen. Obama said the debate should go on.
"Our election is in 40 days, our economy is in crisis and our nation is fighting two wars abroad," he said. "The American people deserve to hear directly from myself and Sen. McCain about how we intend to lead our country."