Despite his initial rejection from the conservative base. Despite his poor speaking and debating skills. Despite his lack of funds. Despite sharing a party with an unpopular president. Despite his lack of media coverage all summer during a prolonged Democrat primary and despite the mainstream media acting as the public relations department of the DNC, John McCain still had a great chance to win this race…until September 24, 2008. That was the day when he announced he would suspend his campaign.

Ironically it could have been the most brilliant move of the campaign, but instead the carcasses of missed opportunity lay in its wake.

But since he fell in line with the mainstream “tax and spend” bailout plan, and then inexplicably backpedaled and went to the debate anyway, he has since allowed Obama to paint the Republicans as the culprit of this mess and himself as the savior. I doubt the Obama campaign could have ever expected such a whopping gift from such a wily old sage.

So why not denounce the costly plan, distance himself from President Bush, let it pass and let Obama take the blame for its inability to stop 900 point drops in the Dow. Why not side with the people, like any good maverick would, who were angry with Wall Street and be their advocate in this mess. By the weekend he looked no different than Pelosi, Reid and Bush.

All was not lost however if only he would explain his logic for suspending his campaign. It was a risk he was willing to take for the American people and without his vital role, the plan would have been much worse. He didn’t, hasn’t and won’t and now has unwittingly let Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and the other ACORN crowd off the hook and has impaled himself with it.

We’ll look back at this election and point to many missteps, but none will be stranger and more harmful than how McCain handled and failed to explain the suspension of his campaign.