Bob Barr has finally sensed his opening. With Senator McCain calling for Friday's debate to be postponed, the former Georgia congressman and Libertarian Party nominee says he is eager to fill in as a replacement.
"Given Senator McCain's political stunt to avoid the debate, I ask that Friday's debate moves forward without him, as I am more than willing to step in to participate," Mr. Barr said in a statement this morning.
Mr. Barr, who is polling in the low single digits, was excluded from the three presidential debates and had been planning to host a separate, simultaneous event Friday night in which he responded to the candidates and the questions in real time.
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, is essentially warning the two presidential candidates to stay out of Washington this week. Mr. Reid just put out the following statement responding to Senator McCain's announcement that he was suspending his campaign to return to Capitol Hill and his call to postpone Friday night's debate in Mississippi.
In the statement, the majority says "it would not be helpful at this time" for either candidate to come back to Congress and join in the negotiations over a $700 billion government bailout of the financial markets.
Mr. Reid's full statement after the jump
An Obama campaign ad which poked fund at Senator McCain over his inability to use computers and was disowned yesterday by the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Senator Biden, aired a grand total of six times, according to a private firm which tracks advertising across the country. "It aired 6 times in the DC market," Evan Tracey of TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG told The New York Sun today.
During a conference call for reporters just now, a top adviser to Senator McCain's campaign, Steven Schmidt ripped into the New York Times, accusing it of flagrant bias in its coverage of the presidential race.
What does Governor Paterson say about Senator McCain's desire to appoint New York's attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission? You can't have him.
"McCain may want Andrew, but I can tell you Andrew wants Obama. And we in New York want Andrew right here and not in DC," Mr. Paterson said in a statement released this morning by the New York State Democratic Committee.
The Republican presidential nominee, in an interview broadcast last night on "60 Minutes," cited Mr. Cuomo as his choice to replace Christopher Cox, whom he has said he would have fired as SEC chief in the midst of the current crisis in the financial markets.
The office of Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, last night put out a statement that made no mention of Mr. McCain's comments, instead focusing on his own investigation of short-selling.
Of course, Mr. Paterson may think differently this time next year if Mr. Cuomo decided to challenge him in a race for governor in 2010.
With just weeks to go before the November election, a former aide to John Edwards is starting a so-called 527 political organization that may seek to boost Democrats' chances at the polls. Citizens for Safety & Security was formally registered with the Internal Revenue Service last week by the chief financial officer of Mr. Edwards's unsuccessful bid this year for the Democratic presidential nomination, Lora Haggard.
Senator McCain dropped a surprising name tonight when he was asked who he would want to replace Christopher Cox as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission: Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic attorney general of New York.
"I think he is somebody who could restore some credibility, lend some bipartisanship, to this effort," Mr. McCain said, adding that he admired Mr. Cuomo's work in New York. He said that Mr. Cuomo had "respect" and "prestige," praising his tenure as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration.
The Republican presidential nominee said last week he would have fired Mr. Cox for betraying the public trust in providing what he characterized as shoddy regulatory oversight of the financial markets. He acknowledged last night that the president technically does not have the authority to fire the SEC chief, but he said that if he wanted a government official to resign, "they would resign."
Mr. Cuomo became state attorney general in 2007, taking over for the now-disgraced Eliot Spitzer. He is the son of Mario Cuomo, who served three terms as governor of New York.
When Senator McCain delivered a speech this morning on the upheaval on Wall Street, he referred to several federal agencies and regulators that he pledged to reform to better serve both investors and the public. But in listing the organizations, he didn't get all of the names right.
He referred twice to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a government-mandated non-profit entity that restores funds to investors with assets in bankrupt or failing brokerage firms, according to its Web site. The acronym is SIPC, but Mr. McCain reversed the letters and both times read the initials aloud as "S-P-I-C."
A libel suit will be filed soon against an online publication, the Michigan Messenger, over its report that a county Republican chairman in the state said foreclosure lists would be used to challenge voters at the polls in November, the Michigan Republican Party chairman said on a conference call with reporters this afternoon. The Macomb County chairman, James Carabelli, has denied making the statement, but the online news outlet has stood by its report.
There was a curious omission Monday when Senator Obama lit into Senator McCain over the presence of lobbyists in the upper echelon of his campaign.
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