A political campaign has constant sea changes, but this week was a Titanic for McCain. A simple rearranging of the chairs on the deck wasn't going to work. He had to bail out. But he had to bail out in a way that didn't look like he was bailing out. Even though to many it completely looks like he's bailing out.
On the surface
Sure, McCain's rationale sounds good. He couches the decision well.
"Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges," McCain said in a press conference. "Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country."
And while eventually there was a joint statement put out by the two campaigns agreeing to broad principles to help resolve the crisis, it would appear McCain dragged his feet a bit in order to get the leadership spotlight on him.
Asked about the joint statement by CBS's Katie Couric yesterday, McCain said, "This is not the time for statements. ... I think the American people expect more of us. And I would hope that we would respond that way."
"We discussed that we do agree, and I'd be glad to -- to join in a common press release or statement, but now is not the time for statements. Time is now to act," he added.
So while Saturday Night Live has some rich new material, the conversation has changed. It has been successful in the few hours since it happened. And in the 24 second news cycle, that's a success. The only talk is McCain's move.