When the House Republicans voted against the bailout bill yesterday, it was also a referendum against John McCain and his presumptive leadership of the Party. The Republicans seemed to outright reject McCain's intrusion in the negotiations and his posturing as a legislative leader who could save the day by his mere presence on Capitol Hill. As a result, McCain failed to deliver the votes he arrogantly assumed he could just by showing up.
The McCain campaign made a big deal last week of McCain's decision to 'suspend' his campaign and return to DC to finesse the negotiations. When asked about McCain's role in the process, the campaign went to great lengths to describe his talks with House Republicans claiming he was bringing them together to resolve their uneasiness with the bill. So much for togetherness. The House Republicans immediately pulled out of negotiation talks after McCain's arrival and rejected the bill by a two-thirds vote.
The economy remains the central focus of the campaign, despite McCain's desperate attempts to make the election about the so-called 'victory' in Iraq and the surge he supported. It will be interesting to see what rabbit McCain will pull out of his hat next to try to gain control of his out of control campaign.