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3:30 PM ET, September 26, 2008


 Top Items: 
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
McCain Wins Debate  —  Although the fate of tonight's presidential debate in Mississippi remains very much up in the air, John McCain has apparently already won it — if you believe an Internet ad an astute reader spotted next to this piece in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning.
The Huffington Post:
Ex-Adviser: McCain “Blinked,” Campaign “Governed By Tactics, Not Ideology”  —  Scroll down to see McCain ad...  After days of saying that John McCain would not attend Friday's presidential debate unless an agreement on a bailout package for the markets was “locked-down,” the McCain campaign has gone back on its word.
The Politico:
McCain will go to debate  —  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ended three days of suspense on Friday morning and announced that he will leave bailout negotiations in Washington and fly to Oxford, Miss., for the opening presidential debate.  —  McCain had previously said that he would suspend …
The Caucus:
Debate Is On  —  11:52 a.m. |  Updated: Senator John McCain's campaign said Friday morning that he will attend tonight's debate with Senator Barack Obama at the University of Mississippi, reversing his earlier call to postpone the debate so he could participate in the Congressional negotiations …
Fox News:
Huckabee Calls McCain Debate Ploy a ‘Huge Mistake’  —  MOBILE, Ala. — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Thursday that Sen. John McCain made a “huge mistake” by even discussing canceling the presidential debate with Sen. Barack Obama.  —  McCain's campaign has said the Republican …
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
A Hostile Audience  —  One side effect of McCain's debate gambit is, I'm told, that everyone at Ole Miss now hates him.  It will make for a very hostile audience tonight among those students and faculty attending.  He might have to apologize for creating the uncertainty or make some explanation up front, which is never ideal.
Paul Volpe / Washington Post:
McCain Blinks  —  The news that John McCain will debate Barack Obama tonight in Mississippi is a concession by the Arizona senator that his attempt to score a quick political victory on legislation to bail out the financial sector did not pan out as he had hoped.
Patrick Healy / New York Times:
McCain Decides to Participate in Debate
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Debate commissioner: If McCain doesn't show, it's cancelled …
Discussion: Silent Running and Stop The ACLU
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Breaking: McCain To Attend Debate
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
McCain's flailing panic
Discussion: New York Times and ATTACKERMAN
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
Statement By McCain Campaign On Negotiations
Discussion: Reason
Pachacutec / Campaign Silo:   McCain's Online Ads Say He Won Debate. . . Before Debate Occurs
John Paulson / Wall Street Journal:
The Public Deserves a Better Deal
Discussion: Washington Post and protein wisdom
The Campaign Spot:   Why Did McCain Decide to Go to the Debate Tonight?
The Roanoke Times:
The debate must go on  —  McCain's campaign gamble makes …
Discussion: WJHL-TV and DownWithTyranny!
Hope Ditto / Political Radar:
McCain to House GOP: We Need a Deal
Frank James / The Swamp:
House Republicans: ‘Protect taxpayers’  —  Worth a read is the letter House Minority Leader John Boehner sent to sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today, reiterating the House Republicans' determination to be significant part of any deal that gets done to help the finanncial and credit markets.
Hugh Hewitt /
Memo To House Republicans
New York Times:
Fate of Bailout Plan Remains Uncertain
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:   McCain's Choice
Patrick O'Connor / The Crypt's Blogs:
Boehner letter to Pelosi
Discussion: Don Surber
Glenn Thrush / The Crypt's Blogs:
Brave Newt world
Discussion: The New Republic and The Swamp
New York Times:
Bush and Reid Offer Assurances on Bailout Talks
Discussion: Washington Post
Kathleen Parker / National Review:
Palin Problem  —  If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream — away from Sarah Palin.  —  To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president — and possibly president — is to risk being labeled anti-woman.
Chris Orr / The New Republic:
Has the McCain Campaign Broken Sarah Palin?  —  Ezra Klein (and pretty much anyone else who's watched the Palin-Couric interviews) asks, “What's happened to Sarah Palin?” … I don't pretend to have any first- (or second- or third-) hand knowledge of why it is that Palin's performance …
The Campaign Spot:   If You've Lost Kathleen Parker, Who's Left?  Well, Lots of Folks, But...
David Brooks / New York Times:
Thinking About McCain  —  I've been covering John McCain steadily for a decade.  A few years ago, I worked on a book, which I foolishly never completed, on the U.S. Senate with McCain as the central character.  So when I step back and think of McCain, even in the heat of this campaign …
The New Republic:
Putting Country Last  —  I don't know John McCain as well as David Brooks does.  In fact, I don't know him personally at all.  But I covered his 2000 and 2008 primary campaigns, and I spent considerable time interviewing him, including several long interviews I did for a profile in 2006.
Alan Fram / Associated Press:
Few in AP poll back Bush market rescue plan  —  WASHINGTON - There is only sparse public support for President Bush's plan for a $700 billion federal rescue of the battered financial industry, and strong bipartisan doubts it would resolve a crisis that has bloodied some of the country's biggest …
SLATE PREDICTS MCCAIN'S NEXT 10 HAIL MARY STUNTS.  —  1. Returns to Vietnam and jails himself.  —  2. Offers the post of “vice vice president” to Warren Buffett.  —  3. Challenges Obama to suspend campaign so they both can go and personally drill for oil offshore.  —  4. Learns to use computer.
Discussion: Liberal Values and MoJoBlog
Don Kaplan / New York Post:
MAD ABOUT LETTERMAN  —  MCCAIN VIDEO 'JACKED FROM KATIE  —  CBS News executives were red- faced yesterday trying to explain how David Letterman used unaired news footage of Sen. John McCain with Katie Couric to embarrass the Republican presidential candidate.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
National Review asks: Did WaMu fail because it employed minorities?  —  (updated below)  —  National Review's Mark Krikorian notes that (1) Washington Mutual became the largest bank to fail in American history yesterday and (2) its last press release touted the fact that it was named …
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 More Items: 
The New Republic:
The Danger of Chasing News Cycles: Or Why a War Room Isn't a Campaign
Discussion: Political Punch
Nicholas Kralev / Washington Times:
Dems bury resolution due to war fears
Charlie Cook / National Journal Online:
GOP's Senate Stock Falls
Dorothy Samuels / New York Times:
Wasilla Watch: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Scott Kraus / Morning Call:
Obama has slight lead over McCain in statewide poll
 Earlier Items: 
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
A Shift in Mood?  —  A source in the middle of all this detected …
Discussion: Concurring Opinions
James Pethokoukis / US News:
How Paulson Just Picked the 2012 GOP Nominee
Discussion: and Pajamas Media
Gerald Ford's Denial
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
A Second Justice Opts Out of a Longtime Custom: The ‘Cert. Pool’
Discussion: Law Blog