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The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday September 30, 2008
Just when you thought there couldnít be any more twists and turns in this election year, the House yesterday rejected the Bush Administrationís $700 billion bailout package and the Dow plummeted. It's hard to find any blameless characters in this congressional bailout mess.

So who runs the Republican Party? Apparently nobody. Perhaps the most startling political development was the amazing lack of leadership on the GOP side of the aisle. Let's run down the list of Republican leaders who attempted to persuade skeptical House Republicans: President Bush, John McCain, Dick Cheney, and John Boehner. (We'd add Newt Gingrich to this list, but no one is quite sure if his last-minute support was actually cover for his behind the scenes whipping against the bill.) Bush's leadership and trust issues within his party has been evidenced for quite some time, and the icing on the Bush legacy cake is that fact that he could only convince FOUR Texas House Republicans to support his bill. And then there's John McCain, who last week decided to insert himself into the process and then (before the bailout failed) took credit for getting wavering House Republicans on board. Perhaps he did get a few wayward House GOPers on board -- but it wasnít enough. Now McCain gets a double stomach punch: He's stuck being seen as supportive of this bailout (which isnít exactly popular with the conservative grassroots) and he gets to share in the blame for the defeat since he didn't have enough political capital to get this done (By the way, not a single member of the Arizona GOP delegation voted for this bill). Watching the McCain campaign deal with this yesterday, one could sense that they were fearful that they were going to look inept and take an even deeper political wound than they sustained last week. More...

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The Bailout Failure Blame Game
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