Reid Puts Party Politics First

Upon learning that Senator McCain called Harry Reid’s bluff and once again put the country’s interest before McCain’s personal interests, Reid reversed himself and now asserts McCain’s return “would not be helpful:”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a statement that would be unlikely to go out without the Obama campaign’s approval, dismisses McCain’s suspension:[. . .]But it would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy. If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.

Yesterday, Reid was insisted on McCain’s support as the political price to be paid for Democrat’s to back the proposed bailout of the financial sector:

Fearing a political backlash against Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has told the White House that it must serve up support from Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) if it hopes to ensure bipartisan backing for a massive economic bailout package by week’s end.

According to Roll Call, Reid made his political price clear to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Monday night, as well as to his Democratic caucus. Reid also wants assurances from Senate Republican leaders that an evenly divided, bipartisan group of Senators will pass any legislative fix so the Democrats aren’t left facing the politics of the unpopular bailout alone.

Reid was much happier yesterday, when he thought he had his political cover:

“I got some good news in the last hour or so … it appears that Sen. McCain is going to come out for this,” Reid announced.

But now that McCain has made it clear he is again putting “Country First,” even as the Dems continue to put party first, the Democrats’ Senate leader sees McCain’s decision to focus on the financial crisis, at the expense of McCain’s presidential campaign as not helpful.

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