Is McCain Really Not Going to Show Tonight?

Without consulting anyone, Senator John McCain has unilaterally withdrawn from a national Presidential debate. As I wrote yesterday, there is no precedent for this in modern American history. Presidential campaigns went on during the Civil War, the Depression, WWII and the Vietnam War.  All were crises much more grave than what we are facing now.

There is no nice way to say this - John McCain just isn't showing up to the debate tonight. 

Let's imagine what he will be doing tonight instead of debating Barack Obama.  Surfing the web? Huddling with staff? Going for a walk in the woods? Meeting with recalcitrant Republicans who have come out against the Bush bailout? Having dinner with his familiy?  I'm sure the campaign will conjure up some serious photo op.....but come on.  He spent 24 hours in NYC after he made his announcement that he was suspending his campaign....he couldn't take 8 hours to fly to Mississippi to debate Barack? 

Honestly, I think this is a national disgrace, and he should be embarrassed by the crazy decision his campaign has made. McCain has run one of the wildest and most unorthodox - some would say silly, depressing, pathetic, shameful - campaigns in modern times.  He should get off his butt and show that he isn't scared of talking about our challenges in front of the American people. 

1130 Update: The McCain campaign has just announced they will be participating in the debate tonight.  

1145 Update - Chris Cillizza has already found web ads placed by the McCain campaign claiming "McCain Wins Debate!"