One of the questions you learn to ask early on in med school while interviewing patients is "What made you come in today?" It helps you focus in on what is bothering the patient the most right now and can give you insight into what the patient is thinking and feeling. It's nice to know if a patient has had belly pain for the last three weeks, but knowing that today they started vomiting up blood gets you to the heart of the matter.
What made John McCain decide to suspend his campaign today? The stock market, after going up or down 150 points or more in each of the previous 7 days, was down a grand total of 29 today. Interest rates were bad, but not any worse than they've been other days. No new financial institutions joined the not-so-honored ranks of Bear Stearns, Fannie and Freddie, or AIG.
So what changed today? What happened between his meeting this morning with Lady Lynn de Rothschild, a former Hillary Clinton fundraiser who's thrown in her lot with McCain, and his dramatic announcement this afternoon about suspending his campaign?