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After wild September, who knows what McCain will try next?

By Jimmy Orr / September 30, 2008

Jake Turcotte

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Well, he could always try suspending the election...

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With exactly five weeks to go before voting day, who knows what the McCain campaign is going to try next? August and September have been anything but boring.  And with a poll showing Barack Obama won last Friday's debate, the prospect for an even more interesting October seems likely.

Two months of surprises

The American electorate has been on a roller coaster of surprises from Team McCain, including the selection of a complete unknown as John McCain's running mate, portraying Barack Obama as the next Messiah, featuring Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in campaign ads, high-profile media cancellations, suspending his campaign, and calling for the postponement of the debate.

These were planned strategies tactics. The list doesn't mention the dramatics of a hacked email account, a senior campaign official questioning her own candidate's credentials (twice), and a disastrous television interview which could singlehandedly resurrect Saturday Night Live.

If this was all in the Republican nominee's Fall playbook, one wonders if the campaign secretly dumped campaign managers Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and elevated Charles Barkley to steer the ship.

Gave it a shot

McCain's latest gamble, inserting himself into the high profile financial bailout deliberations, didn't work out with the failure of the package yesterday.

You could argue that McCain pulled a Leon Lett yesterday.  Lett was the Dallas Cowboys defender who infamously threw a touchdown celebration on the ten yard line only to have the ball stripped away.

"I've never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I'm not going to stop now," he told a cheering crowd in Ohio. "Sen. Obama took a very different approach to the crisis our country faced. At first he didn't want to get involved. Then he was monitoring the situation."

"That's not leadership, that's watching from the sidelines," he said.

No one is to blame (except you)

Speaking at a campaign event following the failure of the bill, however, the celebratory tone was gone and McCain blamed Obama before calling for the suspension of blame.

"Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process,” McCain said. "Now is not the time to fix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem."

Look the other way

Meanwhile, over at the Obama camp, things are pretty quiet. Even Joe Biden - who's trying very hard - can't screw things up.

Sensing that they've got the clear momentum, the Obama campaign released a tell-tale statement this morning on the financial crisis that leaves out one important thing -- any mention of John McCain.

"Yesterday, within the course of a few hours, the failure to pass the economic rescue plan in Washington led to the single largest decline of the stock market in two decades," the statement reads. "While I, like others, am outraged that the reign of irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has created the current crisis, I also know that continued inaction in the face of the gathering storm in our financial markets would be catastrophic for our economy and our families."

Next?

Everyone would agree it's been a rough two weeks for the Republican.  But McCain's been down before.  Many times.  And he keeps coming back.

ESPN's Chris Berman had a nickname for a former Detroit Lions coach who kept mystically coming back, despite the many losses and frequent calls for his firing.

Berman nicknamed that coach "Rasputin" and John McCain is one candidate who has proven time and time again -  just like Rasputin - that he knows how to come back.

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