http://www.politicususa.com/en/McCain-Bailout-GambleWith the announcement by Sen. Chris Dodd that congressional negotiators have reached a fundamental agreement on the federal bailout for the financial sector, it is clear that Republican presidential candidate John McCain took a big gamble on the crisis and lost.
Emerging from a 2 hour negotiating session, Dodd said, “We are very confident that we can act expeditiously.” Republican senator Bob Bennett said, “I now expect that we will indeed have a plan that can pass the House, pass the Senate (and) be signed by the president.”The deal came without the intervention of either presidential candidate. However, the sides are still discussing regulatory measures, and how to phase in the $700 billion cost, but this is essentially a done deal.
The person who looks bad in all of this is John McCain, who apparently either didn’t know or care how close an agreement was. By saying yesterday that the bill would not pass, so he was suspending his campaign and calling for a delay of Friday’s presidential debate, he gambled and lost. It turns out the McCain campaign completely misread the situation.
McCain was taking a chance that the bill really was stalled, and then he could ride in and save the day. By trying to whip this thing into a 9/11 style crisis, McCain could project the image of leadership in a desperate time. The problem is that the government was already close to a solution without John McCain’s input. In fact, his drastic overreaction makes McCain look more out of the loop, and brings into question his judgment.
The moves by his campaign yesterday appeared to be a knee jerk reaction by a candidate that was completely out of the loop. In contrast, Obama seemed more plugged in to the situation. McCain’s call to postpone the debate now has the look of a shallow political tactic.
The Republican’s campaign was trying to turn the attention of the electorate back to the character issue, and McCain did reveal a great deal about his character. McCain was willing to overstate a crisis to benefit his campaign. This is a fine example of the attitude of campaign over country that has personified the McCain/Palin ticket.