McCain Gamble Forces Both Noms' Hands

But especially his own: will he look presidential or reckless?
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 25, 2008 8:36 AM CDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif, center, hosts a meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, second from left, to discuss the economy, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008, on Capitol Hill in Washington. From...   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – John McCain’s dramatic suspension of his campaign has propelled himself and Barack Obama to positions of leadership in the financial crisis, writes Michael Cooper in the New York Times, ending their attempts “to float above” the bailout. But now, as members of their parties look to them, their decisions can affect not just presidential campaign politics, but the bailout itself.

McCain is hoping that his gambit will play into his message that he is a country-first patriot,  writes Dan Balz in the Washington Post, but the potential for backlash is massive--both in Washington and with voters. By injecting himself into the hugely risky crisis bailout, McCain chances being seen as "reckless," and an "impetuous and struggling politician that complicated efforts to deal with the biggest financial crisis in more than half a century."