Bailout Politics and the Debates

Dick Morris thinks John McCain lost last night for the simple fact that he didn’t throw it in Barack Obama’s face that he supports the bailout bill with taxpayer funded money, or that he initially didn’t want to go to Washington to work on it. I disagree. Without a deal in place, it would have made no sense for McCain to even bring it up. All Obama would have had to say was, “well John, what did you accomplish? We have no deal done” and that would have been the end of that.
News reports that I have read indicated that John McCain is either on his way back to Washington or is back already to work on the bailout bill. Obama will be campaigning in Virginia and North Carolina. This is key, especially since there’s optimism a deal can get done by the end of the weekend. McCain can slam Obama for not wanting to work on it and would rather campaign than help out the country. While Obama may think he’s getting a leg up on the trail, he’s going to get hurt because he’s not walking the walk.
Once again, all of this is contingent on a deal getting done that McCain can endorse. Althought Barney Frank, Harry Reid, and Chuck Schumer are content to lie through their teeth and try to tell everyone a deal was practically done and in place, House Republicans and even some Democrats refute that claim. House Republicans practically had no say on the bill, even as Democrats were screaming for Republican support. Do you expect the Republicans to sign something over without having any inclusion whatsoever?
Also, I think that it’s important to note that why the meeting on Thursday broke down. Reid, Schumer, and Frank will have you believe that it was McCain’s fault, however, Rush Limbaugh has reliable sources that indicate otherwise.
But I digress.
What it boils down to is this, and this something I do agree with Dick Morris about. House Republicans, like the vast majority of Americans, oppose writing a $700 billion check for the bailout. If McCain can attach his name to any provisions that pass that House Republicans approve of, it’s a win for McCain. He can assail Obama in the debates about how he didn’t go to Washington to work on it, how Obama just wanted to pass it off on the taxpayers, and how Obama wants to pass the responsibility away from the companies that got us into this mess.
What McCain has working against him, however, is the fact that the Democrats will work like hell to get something passed that he can’t attach his name to. Also, what McCain needs to worry about is that if talks continue to stall then the Democrats will just take whatever they want to a vote and get it passed because they have the majority. Not only would this be a bad thing for McCain, but the country would be screwed since this would just be a blank check handed to DC at the burden of the taxpayers. The Democrats can look like the heroes, and McCain will look foolish. Now that McCain is going back to Washington, look for Reid, Schumer, Dodd, Frank, and Pelosi to get something passed as soon as possible.
John McCain’s campaign hinges on something getting done with the bailout bill. Anything he can attach himself to with legitimacy will give him a huge boost that I don’t think even Obama can overcome. But he has to be careful. Democrats can smell all the power with Obama closer to the White House and with their majorities slated to grow even more. If McCain can’t attach himself to the deal with legitimacy, he’s toast.