Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has literally resorted to begging to get this deal done:
Thursday, in the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal. “I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.” Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”
The rapid unraveling of an agreement over the Wall Street bailout seemed to coincide with Republican presidential candidate John McCain's ostentatious return to the Capitol. "It was the very outcome the White House had said it intended to avoid," the Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote, "with partisan presidential politics appearing to trample what had been exceedingly delicate Congressional negotiations."
"John McCain did nothing to help, he only hurt the process," the senior Democrat said at a joint news conference with Senate banking committee chairman Christopher Dodd. Barney Frank, the Democratic chair of the House of Representatives financial services committee, said: "I think this was a campaign ploy for Senator McCain. The meeting convened by Bush was a "photo op and political theater that had nothing to do with us getting to work," Dodd said.
TPJ: As you know John McCain said that he wouldn't go to tonight's debate unless there was a bailout deal by then. Well, it looks like there will not be an agreement yet we hear now that he will be there tonight to debate. This just confirms to me that this whole thing was a ploy, a gimmick and once again he has mislead the American people. They claim McCain was suspending his campaign and calling for postponing the debate to put "country first." Well, it's clear that he was actually putting his campaign first. Surprise, surprise. It also turns out that McCain was cramming in 2-3 hours of debate prep time last night. I thought getting a deal done was his top priority? What a tool.
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