Bail Bonds
I have been thinking about whether there is some way in which John McCain’s campaign suspension last week paid political dividends for him. McCain’s initial dramatic gesture on Wednesday certainly earned him the undivided attention of media outlets and political observers alike, but that can be a mixed blessing for a campaign. My sense is that once McCain showed up at the debate on Friday night without any bailout framework in place (contrary to his stated intention), the potential for any real payoff was largely lost. Toss in yesterday’s legislative defeat, and the whole episode feels a like a political misfire. If anything, the combination of the debate and general legislative chaos has given Barack Obama a little lift over the past few days.
Still, at this point it seems like neither presidential nominee is driving the bailout bus around Capitol Hill. Both men say they are in frequent contact with the key players in Washington, but it is increasingly clear that this is primarily a partisan institutional battle between House Democrats and Republicans. Perhaps the Senate will take the lead going forward, which could move both McCain and Obama back onto center stage. But that hasn’t happened yet.

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