What a difference a day makes. On Thursday afternoon House and Senate leadership reached an "agreement in principle" on the rescue package for the mortgage and securities markets. Then John McCain parachuted into the negotiations.
The New York Times reports the negotiations "dissolved into a verbal brawl" at the White House as some House Republicans, led by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), refused to support the bipartisan negotiation on the package.
In the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr. . . . pleaded with Nancy Pelosi . . . not to 'blow it up' by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal. [Pelosi responded] '[I]t’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”' Mr. Paulson sighed. 'I know. I know.' "
It was the very outcome the White House had said it intended to avoid, with partisan presidential politics appearing to trample what had been exceedingly delicate Congressional negotiations. . . . [A] top aide to [House Minority Leader John] Boehner . . . , Kevin Smith, said Republicans revolted, in part, because they were chafing at what they saw as an attempt by Democrats to jam through an agreement on the bailout early Thursday and deny Mr. McCain an opportunity to participate in the agreement.
Sen. Chris Dodd: "Instead of being a rescue plan for our economy it was a rescue plan for John McCain."
Thursday afternoon we had a deal. Thursday night it was gone. All because John Sidney McCain III demanded his close-up. Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left: "John McCain, the Norma Desmond of politics. Country first my a*s."