When the mortgage deal was looking like it was dead in Congress, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson called the man who has a history of getting bi-partisan bills done. It wasn’t 3am on the clock, but it certainly was a critical time when a respected leader was needed to get things done. He called Senator John McCain:
BOB SCHIEFFER: I am told, Maggie, that the way McCain got involved in this in the first place, the Treasury Secretary was briefing Republicans in the House yesterday, the Republican conference, asked how many were ready to support the bailout plan. Only four of them held up their hands. Paulson then called, according to my sources, Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close to John McCain, and told him: you’ve got to get the people in the McCain campaign, you’ve got to convince John McCain to give these Republicans some political cover. If you don’t do that, this whole bailout plan is going to fail. So that’s how, McCain, apparently, became involved.
SCHIEFFER: He has gotten what he wants, he’s going to have this meeting, kind of a summit today with the president and Barack Obama. I’m told that the leaders of both parties are getting close to having some kind of a bill. The question, though, is whether rank-and-file Republicans, especially, are going to vote for this.
For John McCain, we have seen time and time again where “Country First” isn’t a slogan, it’s a way of life. He became the leader of the Republicans when he won the nomination, but he put his campaign on hold because he is probably the only person who could salvage this deal in Congress in the time constraints faced. Right now, it looks like he has saved it. The minute that he announced his intentions, Democrats in congress finally got serious about working with Republicans on this bill. It has yet to be finalized, but so far it’s looking a lot better than 24 hours ago.
Sen Obama after initially voting “present” followed Sen McCain’s lead and is in Washington now to work on the financial crisis facing our country. But what was he doing yesterday when McCain was getting that “3 am call”?
He was signing autographs.
Come Nov 4th, we need a leader, not a celebrity.