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September 26, 2008


Is John McCain using the supposed bailout crisis to make himself look like a hero?

Faced with diminishing poll numbers and a really poor "performance" by his VP starlet during her interview with CBS's Katie Couric, John McCain desperately needed something to put himself back on top and take attention away from Palin. The dramatic suspension of his campaign and the attempt to cancel the first Presidential debate with Obama, all in the name of patriotic concern for the country's well being, certainly had the potential to do that.

While it has succeeded, in part, in shifting attention away from Palin's poor performance, it may not succeed in putting McCain back on top. Unless all the players play their parts.

It seems that his involvement in the big bailout show has become highly questionable at best. In an Op-ed piece, Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. said:

John McCain's sudden intervention in Washington's deliberations over the Wall Street bailout could not have been more out of sync with what was actually happening.

In fact, the whole thing is taking on the aura of a badly written theatrical extravaganza.

With McCain lamenting that "partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges," President Bush, right on cue, forces a meeting with McCain and Obama (along with several other minor political players) at the White House. This in spite of the fact that House and Senate leaders from both sides of the aisle announced a bipartisan agreement on the principles of a bailout which they said in their press conference should be workable. The so-called "consessions" that Bush made were clearly inevitable long before he even called the meeting. In fact, they were probably already agreed to in the bipartisan negotiations. So the only thing the White House meeting accomplished was to put John McCain in position.

Act two: Right after the meeting, one of Washington's minor republican players was the only one who magically appeared in front of the press to declare that there was, in fact, no deal. I'm not naming him because his name really isn't important. He played his little part by setting the stage with fear and partisan conflict. Suddenly, within hours after the meeting, there appeared a whole cadre of republicans who expressed dissatisfaction with the agreement their own leaders had negotiated.

The stage is now set for a dramatic third act rescue. What savior could possibly sweep in above the fray and unite the republicans? Yep, you guessed it.

I hate to seem that cynical but, unfortunately, I am. If this dramatic third act rescue does happen, I hope the American people aren't dumb enough to fall for it.