Barack Obama on why he insists on maintaining the debate on Friday night as scheduled:

"This is exactly the time the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible for dealing with this mess."

"In my mind, [the debate] is more important than ever."

Three Quick Things:

1. No one new will be in charge of this mess until 20 January. We have an election in 40-odd days--but we wait more than two months after that for an actual changing of the guard. We cannot wait four months for a fix.

2. The debate in question is over foreign policy--not economics.

3. And the last thing we need is two donkeys (and I am not talking party symbols here) "demagoguing it up" on TV. We need two statesmen who are willing to forgo political advantage and put their country first. No solution is possible with the grandstanding Congressional leadership mugging for the cameras and dueling for the best plan to help the "little people." Our only hope is some selflessness.

Elections be damned. I salute John McCain for the sentiment and the paean to the founding heroes of the United States of America. Even if he is just being cynical (and I am not at all sure that he is), I appreciate the sop to an antiquated American tradition. John Quincy Adams would be proud.