The Wall Street bailout continues to warp politics in all sorts of unexpected ways. A new article in the conservative National Review argues that Barack Obama’s support for the bailout law shows that he is closer to George Bush than John McCain.
From National Review:
“The irony here is that Obama actually has much more in common with Bush than McCain does. The second debate centered on the so-called Wall Street bailout. While both candidates supported the ultimate Senate bill, it was McCain who initially reached out to support the House Republicans in their effort to defeat the original Bush-Paulson plan. Obama, on the other hand, expressed his support so long as the plan was adjusted to adopt certain obvious provisions to which no one could object (accountability, upside for the taxpayer, and so forth). Despite a campaign that blames everything on Bush, Obama is quick to follow his Democratic cohorts in supporting Bush on perhaps the biggest issue of the day.”
It’s exceedingly odd to read that Bush and Obama are on the same page economically. But even odder is the attempt to rally the troops for the Republican candidate on anti-bailout, anti-Bush administration grounds.
While it’s true that McCain seems to have played a role in the initial defeat of the bailout bill in the House, he was never a prominent critic of the bill. Indeed, he seems to have done whatever he did from behind the scenes. If he wanted to make this a campaign issue, shouldn’t he have stood on the Capitol’s steps and speechified against it?
Worse, he ultimately supported the law. “McCain was against the bailout before he was for it,” hardly seems a winning electoral strategy. What’s more, McCain’s erratic and seemingly off-the-cuff proposals for a mortgage bailout are hardly a testament to facility with economic issues. But at this point, we suppose you go with what you’ve got, even if it aint much.
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