McCain LIVE at the Clinton Global Initiative, Obama by Satellite (Too Busy Cramming for the 1st Presidential Debate the NEXT DAY?)

In my most recent “The Past Week” post for September 7-13, I commented on the Clinton-Obama meeting in NYC on September 11 and how Bill promised he would be going out to work for Obama as soon as his Global Initiative meeting was over (the event is from September 23-26). (Video link and a discussion of the body language at that meeting here.)

Well, looks like Mr. Clinton has decided to get a little ahead of the game…sort of. Maybe.  Well, read this try to figure it all out…

There it was, a little squib on Time’s website  yesterday (Tuesday, September 16) that said:

Obama, McCain to Speak to Clinton Global Initiative

The two presidential candidates will participate with the likes of Queen Rania, Gordon Brown, Hamid Karzai, Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg, Lance Armstrong, Bono and more in addressing the fourth annual meeting.

Obama by satellite.

The little squib didn’t mention how McCain would be speaking, but there was a link to another page which featured the entire press release.

About midway through the long list of participants and meetings, I saw the mention of McCain and Obama’s appearances.

Both United States presidential candidates will have a role in the Annual Meeting. Senator John McCain will deliver the opening remarks live at the “Integrated Solutions: water, food and energy” plenary session. Senator Barack Obama will address meeting participants via satellite.

Here’s a rundown on the session:

PLENARY SESSION: Integrated Solutions: Water, Food & Energy

Thursday 9/25/08, 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Metropolitan Ballroom

During the 20th century, more people than ever benefited from clean water, plentiful food, and the mobility and comfort of an oil-based economy. World grain harvests quadrupled and world oil production grew 180-fold during the last century. However, our food, water, and oil reserves are increasingly strained as resources are depleted, natural systems become strained, and world population increases. The rising price of oil and increases in biofuel production are driving up global grain prices. New oil-extraction opportunities are heavily water- and carbon-intensive, and increasing demand for water is lowering water tables around the world. Because water, food, and energy issues are so closely related, solutions addressing one should address all three. This panel will discuss ways to use water more efficiently, expand food security, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels to create a more sustainable future.

Program Participants:

Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent, NBC News
T. Boone Pickens, Founder and Chairman, BP Capital Management
Robert Zoellick, President, The World Bank Group

(Quite a group…Tom Brokaw, who is the only one at NBC who occasionally tries to act like an adult, along with Pickens and one of our “favorites,” Robert Zoellick.)

Oh, we know that Barack is terribly busy on the campaign trail these days (maybe Obama will be off trying to win over people in one of those hick towns he loathes so much) and I’m sure he would have wanted to be there.  Or maybe not, if he didn’t want to upset his minions by appearing in person with Pickens or Zoellick.  On the other hand, the meeting takes place the day before the first Presidential Debate on September 26 which will be moderated by Jim Lehrer. The focus will be on foreign policy and national security, so Obama probably will be CRAMMING on the subject of the Logan Act and practicing how to talk without a teleprompter!

But you’d think he want to meet all those foreign leaders, now, wouldn’t you?

If Obama were the only one of the two included, and appeared via satellite, I wouldn’t have been at all curious.  But the fact that McCain is taking a day off the campaign trail and appearing LIVE–the day before the first debate–well, now isn’t that interesting?

McCain is either very confident on the debate subject or Bill Clinton wants to get him good and tired before that debate the next night in Mississippi…OR

Do you think there will be a nice photo op featuring McCain and Clinton shaking hands and smiling??  I’m thinking back to just before the Democratic Convention when Bill explained the differences between Candidate A and Candidate B and then asked “who would people vote for” in a comment perceived by many as a dig at Obama.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what happens at the Global Initiative and to what extent the media will ignore the McCain appearance…and let’s see if Obama’s absence from the meeting pays off in any way…


(Hat-tip to Matthew Weaver who posted a short diary on this at No Quarter on Tuesday.)

For a full schedule of the Global Initiative meetings, see here.  A link to the attendees is on the sidebar if you are interested to see who’ll be there…)