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Breaking: McCain suspends campaign

Announcing that he will return to Washington to work on the financial crisis, John McCain has temporarily suspended his presidential campaign and has called on the organizers of this Friday's foreign policy debate to postpone the event:

I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself," McCain told reporters in New York. "It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem."

Here's the full statement.

No one can fault the senator for getting back to work on the biggest issue facing the country right now, but after the beating he's taken in the polls this week, this is going to be widely interpreted as an attempt to delay the debate until he can regain some surer footing. We'll see if it works.

Update: "The debate is on," says the Obama camp.

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Are those really chains of chauvinism keeping Sarah Palin from the press?

Reporters were outraged as they were once again kept from questioning Gov. Sarah Palin during her UN tour yesterday. One voice that rang loud above the flurry was CNN anchor Campbell Brown's "rant" directed at the McCain campaign last night:

 

In her surprisingly forceful comments that lasted about 90 seconds, Brown began by saying that she'd "had it" and she knew "a lot of other women are with me on this." Then, apparently in defense of Palin, Brown accused the campaign of outright sexism and binding its VP candidate in "chauvanistic chains" rather than letting her face tough questions.

While I agree with Brown that the McCain campaign has indeed made some insulting sexist judgements about women voters-- like assuming they'd be swayed merely because the Republicans added a woman to their ticket -- I'm reluctant to apply the big "S" word here.

I'm not convinced that the McCain campaign is hiding Palin out of concern that it's got a "delicate flower" to protect. After all, she is its sharp-shooting, moose-hunting, maverick. It's more likely that her handlers are keeping an unprepared candidate out of the spotlight lest she make a whopper of an error, something bigger than the Bush Doctrine misstep.

Bottom line: Brown is voicing valid frustrations shared by voters and journalists alike. With less than six weeks to go before election day, it's time for Palin to have an open dialogue with the press. And an interview with Katie Couric isn't going to suffice.

But what do you think? Has the McCain campaign got Sarah Palin locked down in chauvinist shackles?