Obama and McCain will after all debate tonight in the university in Oxford, Mississippi. Bob Dylan wrote the song "Oxford Town," for The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, about the violence over the admission of black man James Meredith into the University in 1962. Will there be demonstrators there tonight calling for government to defend their homes and mortgaages, maybe some out of work realtors and mortgage brokers too, but unlikely to see Wall Street suits campaigning to save their bonuses. The great Nobel prize-winning master of southern Gothic William Faulkner comes from there and John Grisham lives there.
Faulkner's last novel ends with a race. Lucius rides Coppermine in an illicit race. Coppermine likes to run just behind the other horses to monitor them at all times, but Ned,the black stableboy, bribes him with a sardine for a final burst to win the race. After the win, for the next race, Ned does not do the sardine trick and Coppermine loses. Ned had shorted (bet heavily against) Coppermine in this race, and the black kid thereby gets the better of the rich whites. Tonight, Obama and McCain will debate there and the key subject will be TARP; will it save the world as we know it or not?
McCain was originally keen to cancel the debate in favour of getting involved in the bad bank deal. His brinkmanship has scuppered TARP for now and his closest advisors told him to get out of town (Washington) because he was seen merely as getting in the way and obstructing a deal. Obama said he never wanted to cancel the debate; he wanted to address the nation about the financial crisis.
Congress will remain in session over the weekend. All representatives and congressmen will be watching the Oxford debate. So, what are we in for? Probably an amzing attempt to translate high falutin' finance into campaign stump-speak followed by Congressional debates where one third of the representatives who are up for re-election also speaking stump - totally grippingly sound-bite seering reality teevee at its very best. Who'll win these races?
Meanwhile, at the UN, another Presidential speech today. Gordon Brown announces the end of the age of irresponsibility and global turbulence, perhaps herlding in the age of responsibility and calm? "Confidence in the future is needed to build confidence today," he said.