The war of words over who is to blame for the House’s failure to pass the $700 billion bailout bill continues between Barack Obama and John McCain. After McCain tried to lay the blame on Obama, an Obama spokesman accused McCain of being hyper partisan and playing politics with the crisis.
In his first statement after he jumped the gun and claimed credit for passing a bailout bill that failed, McCain blamed Obama, “Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process.” McCain must think that no one is paying attention and didn’t notice that he was the one who “suspended” his presidential campaign and called for the debate to be postponed due to the economic crisis, and that it was his party who didn’t deliver their half of the votes needed.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton reacted to a statement by McCain advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin that blamed Obama for the bill’s failure by saying, This is a moment of national crisis, and today’s inaction in Congress as well as the angry and hyper-partisan statement released by the McCain campaign are exactly why the American people are disgusted with Washington. Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to join together and act in a way that prevents an economic catastrophe. Every American should be outraged that an era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and Washington has led us to this point, but now that we are here, the stability of our entire economy depends on us taking immediate action to ease this crisis.”
McCain made two huge mistakes here. He tried to make it look like he was involved, and he took credit for something that ended up not happening. Obama has been the candidate who has tried to stay out of the negotiations and project a bipartisan attitude. In short, Obama did the correct thing. He showed good judgment. If McCain would have followed the same course as Obama, he would not be open to criticism right now. If the Republican was so eager to take the credit if the bill passed, then he must also take some blame for its failure.
Even if a bill is eventually passed, the damage has already been done to McCain. This attempt to blame Obama actually plays into the Democrat’s hands, because instead of looking like a maverick or a new kind of Republican McCain is playing the blame game, which is politics as usual. I am not willing to suggest that McCain is finished yet, but that today’s events did seriously wound his chances of being elected. John McCain went all in on the bailout deal, and he lost, and he can’t blame Barack Obama for his own strategic blunders and poor judgment.