This has been a hell of a week for suspension.
David Blaine started it off on Monday by hanging upside down over Central Park for 60 hours. MAGIC! Only, he didn't actually remain suspended for the entire 60 hours. Cameras caught him taking breaks, standing on platforms and stopping for water about once an hour. In an article in the TimesOnline, Veronica Schmidt quoted a spectator as saying, “Finally, after 15 minutes or so, Blaine went back to being upside-down. There wasn’t much to see. He just hung.”
Anyone who as ever been a babysitter has probably seen a living room version of this stunt as a little kid hangs upside down over the side of a sofa.
John McCain was obviously so impressed by Blaine's illusion that he decided to pull a suspension trick of his own. Calling for the suspension of his campaign to deal with the financial crisis, McCain hinted that the debate scheduled for tonight would have to be canceled, he skipped an appearance on David Letterman ("you work on commission right? big mistake, big! HUGE!"), and pulled an impressive disappearing act from the political stage that would make Sarah Palin proud. Is it just me, or do you see some sort of traveling magic show in the future for these two? Something involving shooting rabbits in a hat from a helicopter.
Anyway, in the same way that bystanders in Central Park were utterly unimpressed by forty-five minute intervals of David Blaine's purple face, Americans and the media called McCain's bluff. They spotted the wire, or the mirror, or the hidden tiger, or dove up his sleeve or whatever other magic analogy you want to use. People, you can't suspend a campaign! There's no crying in baseball, there's no basement in the Alamo, and there's no suspension in politics! Where did he honestly think he was going to go during this suspension? Washington?! Did he forget that there are a couple of cameras in DC right now covering the death of money?
The Great McCain's trick was up when he arrived in the Capitol and people noticed that his campaign suspension simply meant that instead of helping to reach a financial agreement, or facing Obama on the issues, or actually running for president, he just hung.