September 30, 2008

THE PLAN IS THE McCAIN CANDIDACY...:

McCain at dead end as House rejects bailout plan (STEVEN R. HURST, 9/30/08, AP)

Republican John McCain has maneuvered himself into a political dead end and has five weeks to find his way out.

Last Wednesday, McCain suspended his presidential campaign to insert himself into a $700 billion effort to rescue America's crumbling financial structure. In so doing, he tied himself far more tightly to the bill than did his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.

Then, as the bailout plan appeared ready for passage Monday in the House, McCain bragged that he was an action-oriented Teddy Roosevelt Republican who did not sit on the sidelines at a moment of crisis.

The implication: that he played a critical role in building bipartisan support for the unprecedented bailout.


...the only question is does the House GOP save it or kill it.

They've plunked down everything on the hope that the crisis is fake and that Americans don't want anything done about it. That's a losing bet, but the public rightly identifies them with it, Wall St. Problems Viewed as 'Crisis' in Latest Poll (Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta, 9/30/08, Washington Post)

Most Americans see the current financial situation as a "crisis," and there is overwhelming concern that the failure of the House of Representatives to pass the economic recovery package will deepen the problem, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

But the poll also revealed significant public concern with the bill Congress rejected yesterday, as few voters said the package did enough to protect "ordinary Americans," and nearly half said it did not go far enough to shore up the nation's economy.

Nevertheless, nearly nine in 10 expressed concern that the failure of the bill could lead to a more severe economic decline, including a slim majority calling themselves "very worried." High levels of concern cross party lines, but Democrats and Republicans have contrasting views of the urgency of the situation. In the poll, 60 percent of Democrats call the economic woes a crisis, compared with 44 percent of Republicans. [...]

Asked to assess responsibility for the legislation's failure, 44 percent said Republicans were the reason, 21 percent said the Democrats and 17 percent said both sides were responsible.

MORE:
Vote casts shadow on McCain, Obama (BEN SMITH & GLENN THRUSH, 9/30/08, Politico)

Reluctant Republicans ignored Sen. John McCain, undermining the Republican presidential nominee’s efforts to cast himself as a problem-solving legislative leader. [...] It was the House Republicans, whose support McCain had returned to Washington to seek, who drove a stake through the bill’s heart: Two-thirds of the Republicans voted against the bill; nearly two-thirds of the Democrats voted for it.

The failure to pass the measure, and the commensurate historic drop in stock prices around the world, overshadowed the presidential campaign, as it has for a week, and swamped McCain’s attempts to turn the conversation toward a more general argument about taxes and spending. The election remains squarely situated on the economy, turf on which polls suggest McCain is far less trusted than Obama.


Happy Days For Obama (William Murchison, 9/30/08, Real Clear Politics)
I think the election of Barack Obama has not been cinched, but that the Democratic ticket's chances are vastly enhanced. It is a melancholy thought. I share it with reluctance.

If I correctly read human nature, I see my fellow Americans as ready for a brand-new version of the same-old same-old. I see them ready, that is, for "change." For anything but news accounts about the crash of companies and the shredding of retirement accounts and stock portfolios.

The most sensible editorial page on the planet, the Wall Street Journal's, saw the bailout bill as generally, under the anguished circumstances, OK. That gave some hope. Yet the House went ahead and shot the thing down. I have the sense that Americans, whatever their view of the proposed bailout, are sick of the whole sideshow.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 30, 2008 8:28 AM
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