By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

No help for their candidate

Maybe I’m reading to much into this. But if congressional Republicans wanted to help John McCain, wouldn’t they have slowed things down and tried to make it look like McCain’s parachute drop onto Capitol Hill was — well, if not exactly crucial, then at least helpful?

Instead, Republicans and Democrats have reportedly just about wrapped up the bailout legislation, leaving McCain looking foolish, and with nothing better to do Friday evening than to head to Mississippi for the first presidential debate.

Here’s a hilarious tidbit from the Politico:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that “nobody mentioned McCain” during the several-hour-long meeting on the $700 billion market rescue plan, other than Frank. “They winced when I did,” said Frank. He went on to compare Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to “Andy Kaufman and his Mighty Mouse: Here I am to save the day.”

I am amazed at how unsteady McCain’s behavior is compared to eight years ago — or, for that matter, eight months ago.

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  1. Doug Shugarts

    Maybe the GOP would have made more noise if McCain had articulated a convincing idea or plan that the party could have touted as ‘leadership.’ I’ve heard nothing from McCain to suggest that his presence in Washington this week would have made any difference at all.

  2. Ani

    The NY Times piece I just read ("Status of Debate Remains Uncertain", suggests that some of McCain's colleagues worried that his involvement might "derail progress on the rescue package." The piece also makes it sound as if McCain is careening from one impetuous decision to another and wrapped up in a version of this economic mess that makes it seem like 9/11, which I interpret to mean that that is the kind of crisis he is more comfortable with.

  3. Mike F

    I love Barney Frank. I mean, is there any other Congressman in the country who would make an Andy Kaufman reference?And has anyone seen Bill Clinton’s praise of John McCain’s decision? He won’t shut up about how great John McCain is (and Sarah Palin too.) I almost think it would be better if he just came out and endorsed McCain. And, coincidentally, has anyone seen or heard from Hillary? It’s almost as if they want Obama to lose.

  4. Ani

    mike f: I think the Clintons do want Obama to lose, and I worry that the media wants him to lose, too. At least the election is up to the voters, at least in theory.

  5. Aaron Read

    Man I miss being able to say that I lived in Barney’s district. Got to do it for just one year, but it was worth it.I love his campaign ads that ended with “I’m Barney Frank and I endorse this message….I can’t imagine anyone else who would!”BTW, Congressional Republicans have suddenly had their careers painted in stark relief. If this bailout goes badly…and there’s a damn good chance it will no matter what form it takes…then a lot of them are going to be out of a job come November 2nd. The last thing they want to do is be painting themselves as loyal to the national party ahead of their local districts or states.

  6. Chalicechick

    My impression is that John McCain and Clinton are friends and that while Clinton agrees with Obama on more, Obama spent a lot of time during the primaries minimizing Clinton’s accomplishments in office and insulting his wife and some of those wounds still smart. CC

  7. acf

    The Clintons don’t want Obama to lose. The costs are too high. If McCain gets in, the deficit will continue, wars will continue, personal rights will stay at risk, and at least 1 more right wing Supreme Court justice will be added to the Court. Those problems will be the least of our worries with a McCain presidency. We cannot have 1 more day of Republicans despoiling the White House beyond the end of Bush II. There is nothing to gain and everything to lose by thinking ‘give them more rope and mop up at the end’.

  8. bostonmediawatch

    The House repubs had a grenade ready; incredibly, they waited until McCain was in the room to pull the pin.

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