John McCain claims to suspend his campaign to rush back to Washington to fix the nation’s economic mess. Not that when he said he was going to rush back he meant right away. According to some reports, including the Daily Show, which I LOVE but generally is not my source for breaking news (remember, as brilliant as Jon Stewart is, he is a comedian), McCain took care of some other financial business in NYC – namely fundraising for his campaign that he had suspended.
Finally 22 hours later, McCain arrived in Washington. And just in the nick of time because Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner (R-OH, I will get to him later) had just announced a bipartisan plan for the economy. Bear in mind that while neither Barack Obama or McCain sits on any of the relevant committees in the Senate, their support of this plan was needed. They needed to be here to be briefed on it because one of them will inherit this mess. As other people have pointed out, McCain’s support was actually more important to this deal. This is because Republicans spend most of their time railing against the evils of government (unless they want it to watch what you do in the bedroom, who you talk to on the phone or what books you read, then it’s either all about God or security.) Having McCain’s backing would have provided political cover for GOPers and would have made this a truly bipartisan bill, which it should be. The bad news is that while his presence could have been helpful, it wasn’t. As Senator Harry Reid pointed out, we needed leadership not a presidential campaign photo-op, and that’s all we got.
And this is where our dear friend, Mr. Boehner steps in.
“Ordinarily a Republican president’s problems are with Democrats, especially if they control the House and Senate. In this case, Bush seemed almost over that hurdle. To be sure, Democrats demanded a number of changes in his $700 billion bailout plan, but administration insiders signaled they probably were acceptable. They included greater oversight, more protections for taxpayers, efforts to head off home foreclosures and piecemeal allocations of the federal money to buy toxic mortgage securities.
What caught some by surprise, either at the White House meeting or shortly before it, was the sudden momentum behind a dramatically different plan drafted by House conservatives with Minority Leader John Boehner’s blessing.” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26884523/
As the House Minority Leader, most of the GOP Members do not do much without his blessing. Saying this happened with his blessing is like saying the Declaration of Independence was written with Thomas Jefferson’s ‘blessing.’ Even Treasury Secretary Paulson begged Nancy Pelosi to not let this fail – do any of us not know that presidential appointees ‘serve at the pleasure of the president?’ Even he acknowledged that it is the Republicans are holding this up. Earlier this week, everyone’s favorite economic thinker, George W. Bush told the nation that we need to act immediately to save our economy. What I cannot understand is that if he gets it, why can’t the rest of HIS party? And should John McCain show up at the debate tonight, Jim Lehrer should ask.
Of course if he blows it off, I don’t think will be any question that he should not lead anything much less our country.