Don't be too hard on Senator McCain, who is doing what he is told to do to give him the best shot at being elected. He could not lead the nation out of a paper bag. Senator Obama, a better man, is the more interesting case. He is naturally conservative and a compromiser. He does not want to overreact, nor does he ever wish to impose his particular plan to solve a problem. So he naturally lets others take the lead. He would do this as president if he could. But President Obama will find that, as they say, "the buck stops here." Then we will know what he is really made of.
On the possibly of postponing the debate, after 9/11, we were told to live life normally. Senator McCain does have his priorities wrong. Deciding who our President should be is more important than an economic fix that, after all the whole nation, including Congress and the Administration, is arguing. Senator McCain and Senator Obama are not needed in Washington until their votes are called for.
— Leo Wong, Albany, Comment, to "Absent Leader", New York Times, September 25, 2008
When it seemed that a bipartisan compromise would become law, all that Senator Obama needed to do was to show bipartisan support. Now that it appears that the compromise will not pass, Senator Obama needs to recognize that the matter is political as well as economic. Senator Obama must show that he can lead and present a plan that Congress and the people can support and the President will sign. Surely an Obama administration would not have proposed the deeply unpopular Paulson plan. Senator Obama need not invent a plan; he must choose a plan he believes in and successfully advocate for it. Senator McCain is a stone in his path. Senator Obama has called the nation to greatness. He must show some greatness himself. Senator Obama has said that now is a defining moment for the country. Now is a defining moment for him.