The circumstances were a little different, but this isn't the first time McCain has suspended a presidential campaign. Back in April 1999, McCain suspended the launch of his presidential bid and his announcement tour due to the military operations in Kosovo. "It's not appropriate at this time to launch a political campaign," he said back then. Granted, the stakes are a lot higher this time.

Meanwhile, while we await official word from the Obama campaign on how they plan to respond, I thought I'd pass along one little tidbit. I was on the phone with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett--interviewing her for a different story--when news of McCain's call to postpone the debate broke. Her immediate response: "I'm not surprised. Why wouldn't he avoid it at all costs?"  

--Jason Zengerle