McCain Stymied by GOP Bailout Revolt

Deal failure will hurt, while conservatives are bound to criticize 'success'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2008 2:32 AM CDT
President Bush meets with congressional leaders during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House yesterday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – John McCain made a splash with his dramatic entry into the bailout talks, but he now seems to be floundering, the New York Times writes. The candidate was largely silent during the summit meeting with the president in which the deal was scuttled by Republicans—"more observer than leader," according to observers—while Barack Obama stepped into the role of consensus-builder.

McCain didn't indicate whether he supported the negotiated deal, or the alternate put forward by GOP dissenters. The situation is changing fast and McCain could yet emerge as the hero, but he faces a difficult balancing act, the Times observes. Any bailout package is likely to rile the conservatives who only recently fully supported McCain with his pick of Sarah Palin as a running mate. If the deal falls through, McCain will be among those blamed for its failure.