When John McCain holds a town hall in New York City Thursday night, there'll be one person whose absence is obvious to all involved. McCain had asked Barack Obama to join him onstage tonight to kick off what the presumptive Republican nominee hoped would be a series of as many as 10 public meetings between the two, but Obama will miss at least this one.
"I think that it's not realistic to do all 10 given all the campaigning that I have to do since we just finished our primary election," Obama said on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
The AP also notes that the original plan was for Obama's absence to be symbolized by an empty chair onstage, but that idea has now been scrapped. (I wonder if perhaps the McCain camp realized that a stunt like that would make the Obama camp less enthusiastic about future town halls.) The event will now be produced by Fox News.