Reid changes his tune on McCain involvement – and for good reason; Update: Video added

posted at 6:25 pm on September 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

As Allahpundit already noted in an update to his excellent post on John McCain’s suspension of his campaign, Harry Reid went out of his way to tell him, “don’t bother”.  However, as John McCormack notes at the Weekly Standard, that’s just a day after Reid’s insistence that McCain return to support the Bush administration’s bailout plan.  How soon they forget:

But yesterday, Reid demanded that the White House made sure the legislation had John McCain’s backing, and Reid floated this bogus piece of news clearly intended to force McCain’s hand: “I got some good news in the last hour or so … it appears that Sen. McCain is going to come out for this.” McCain flatly denied that he had endorsed the plan.

So Harry Reid says that it’s essential that John McCain backs legislation designed to avert the greatest economic meltdown since the Great Depression. And when McCain says the highly problematic legislation, in its current form, is not good enough, Reid tells McCain to stay away from Capitol Hill. Who’s playing politics with economic crisis?

Well, everyone is, but this gambit from Reid is really transparent.  He wanted McCain on the hook so that Reid could blame McCain for the political fallout.  When McCain called Reid’s bluff — and that’s what appears to have happened here — Reid did what Reid always does: retreat.

I think Reid fears more than just the idea that McCain will “risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation’s economy.”  What Reid fears is that McCain will return to lead the Republican effort to reach a compromise, and the Senate and House GOP will let him do it.  If McCain takes ownership of the bailout effort and manages to get his suggestions on limiting executive compensation and so on as part of the finished product, he will be able to trot McCain-Dodd on the campaign trail as yet another reform he’s accomplished by working across the aisle.  And in a time of crisis, no less.

And what will Obama be able to say?  He gave a couple of speeches and raised cash for himself while McCain went to work for the nation.

If that’s what McCain and the Republicans have in mind, this could be the coup of the entire campaign.  While Obama went out and sucked up to fundraisers, McCain built the bipartisan compromise that saved the American financial system.  If he succeeds, McCain will have trumped Obama on what should have been the Democrats’ best issue.

Update: Here’s the video from yesterday of Reid demanding leadership from McCain:

“We need, now, the Republicans to start producing some votes for us. We need the Republican nominee for president to let us know where he stands and what we should do.”

Notice that Reid never demanded leadership from the Democratic nominee for President. I guess he already knows that would be a futile request.


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This is the end of the Obama campaign, his actions today have sealed his fate in this election. McCain has shown he’s a leader, and a person who takes his elected job seriously. Obama, by contrast, would rather stay out campaigning and raising money than do his job or act presidential. Fake seals and presumptuous coins do not make a President, actions do.

McCain wins in a landslide, 43 states.

smfoushee on September 24, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Hmmm, let’s see. McCain pulls his ads, but gets free airtime for his trip back to DC. Unless he had to pay in advance for the ads, he’s money ahead.

Or at least he has material for new “Country First” ads. “Harry Reid said come to DC and work on this bill. Then when I did, he said, ‘Never mind. The economy isn’t that important’”

Wethal on September 24, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Well if Fox news is any indication the media isn’t buying it yet.

Suposedly Boehner and Pelosi are issueing a statement saying they don’t need McCain’s help. Hope the RNC has Boehner in check.

And I hope the President insists that Congress stay in session until this thing is settled! He should have done that with drilling but was AWOL. Come on Bushie you can be of some use here…

petunia on September 24, 2008 at 7:13 PM

McCain has shown he’s a leader, and a person who takes his elected job seriously. Obama, by contrast, would rather stay out campaigning and raising money than do his job or act presidential. Fake seals and presumptuous coins do not make a President, actions do.

McCain wins in a landslide, 43 states.

smfoushee on September 24, 2008 at 7:10 PM

It may indeed turn out just like this. But McCain has to actually do something prominently now.

JiangxiDad on September 24, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Good lord . . . Reid is such a wormy little puke.

rplat on September 24, 2008 at 7:15 PM

hump1201 on September 24, 2008 at 7:07 PM

agree

JiangxiDad on September 24, 2008 at 7:16 PM

If McCain can race back to Mississippi just in the nick of time, it certainly would rattle Obama. There probably are deadliness for filing flight plans and notifying security , too.

But keeping Obama uncertain would uh, I mean, probably uh, throw him, uh, off enough that, uh, all his prep goes out, uh, the window.

Wethal on September 24, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Send Sarah to the debate, and let John McCain fly in – after driving the deal to save the economy. Obama will not know what to prepare for.

Combine the relaxation of Sarbanes-Oxley rules, like Mark-to-Market, and the number of assets that need to be purchased will go down.

Right_of_Attila on September 24, 2008 at 7:17 PM

McCain wins in a landslide, 43 50 states.

smfoushee on September 24, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Fixed… (I gotta be consistent….)

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 7:18 PM

When McCain called Reid’s bluff — and that’s what appears to have happened here — Reid did what Reid always does: retreat.

That appears to be the Dem M.O., they call for blood when they’re deepest into it. This fannie freddie disaster is a Dem deal from start to finish, with penalty to any who didn’t follow.
Thats what makes me so mad. They insisted every bank and lender follow their guidelines and it crashed and burned. Carter initiated it iin his admin, Clinton fed it and all the Dems ( and some (R’s) ) hid it.
.
Call their bluff, call your senator. Include any mortgages or anything else that smells like pork and we say No Deal.

shooter on September 24, 2008 at 7:24 PM

Democrat Leadership is an oxymoron. Remember a week ago when Nancy and Harry were about to run for the hills and stated they didn’t know what to do. Seems like they’re led by the perfect empty suit in the Obamanation.
Get out of the way and let adults handle this Nancy, Harry and Barney.

eaglewingz08 on September 24, 2008 at 7:25 PM

Send Sarah to the debate, and let John McCain fly in – after driving the deal to save the economy. Obama will not know what to prepare for.

Right_of_Attila on September 24, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Some Republican chick just said that on Fox Business. Heh.

genso on September 24, 2008 at 7:25 PM

Sir Andrew:

Re:

Actually, he’ll be voting “not present”

Exactly correct…but in the end it amounts to the same thing. It’s all about avoiding responsibility and accountability. And perhaps exposing his complete ignorance on economic matters.

In the end, it will be just as well that Sen. Obama stays away from Washington during this effort to resolve the problem. The guy’s a complete poser, and it will just gum up the works if he’s there posing his way around trying to make it look as though he’s doing something.

Better he stays out on the campaign trail and leaves this to the adults.

Blaise on September 24, 2008 at 7:25 PM

Yet another reason for this infuriating the Dems, and especially Reid and Obama is that this could put McCain’s statement about not knowing much about the economy in the past. If he pulls off a bipartisan bailout bill that saves us from a depression…

And Obama would still stink when it came to foreign policy.

Wethal on September 24, 2008 at 7:28 PM

McCain should INSIST that the bill include an immediate capital gains tax moratorium for six months and an agreement to rewrite the SOX mark-to-market rules by January 1. The conservatives will fall all over themselves to support it. This would produce a REAL economic and job-creation stimulus while the bad mortgages are being worked out. The stock market will soar and investors nationwide will be throwing roses at McCain.

rockmom on September 24, 2008 at 7:34 PM

I only wish that Allah’s rosy scenario would come true. It’s certainly not how Carl Cameron is reporting it, which goes something like this:

Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner are working nicely together and don’t need McCain’s help in what’s a calculated political move on McCain’s part…

Buy Danish on September 24, 2008 at 7:39 PM

Oops, I meant Ed, not Allah…

Buy Danish on September 24, 2008 at 7:40 PM

Buy Danish on September 24, 2008 at 7:40 PM

Allah wouldn’t be caught dead near a rosy scenario.

Disturb the Universe on September 24, 2008 at 7:44 PM

A photoshop of a dejected/jilted Barry next to a phone on the hook comes to mind.

Can this guy BE any more elite?

ex-Democrat on September 24, 2008 at 7:52 PM

McCain wins in a landslide, 43 50 states.

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 7:18 PM

If McCain gets 50 states, that still leaves seven for Obama.

Cicero43 on September 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM

I note that Senator Reid has not requested Senator Obama’s presence. It kind of shows Barry’s importance in this whole matter from Reid’s perspective.

unclesmrgol on September 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM

McCain should stop inviting Obama to join him on anything as well. McCain will get it done, and if Obama is anywhere in the region he will take the credit for political gain with an obliging MSM running the headlines saying it’s so.

Hog Wild on September 24, 2008 at 7:58 PM

Notice that Reid never demanded leadership from the Democratic nominee for President. I guess he already knows that would be a futile request.

Yeah, voting “Present” probably wouldn’t cut it.

GarandFan on September 24, 2008 at 7:59 PM

Like I said… more campaign ads than you can count… and the day’s not over.

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Help people, I am on a cruise ship in Alaska right now and fortunately found a reasonable WIFI pricing here in Juneau while in port. So I am trying to catch up on what the heck is going on here. I only have CNN on this Holland America ship and a condensed TIMES news sheet each day. I am in libearl slant hell. CNN appears to be orgasming all over themselves and Obama giving McCain the finger about the debates and they are just bashing McCain and Bush. I need some perspective here.

In a nutshell, can someone help catch me up? Thanks

karenhasfreedom on September 24, 2008 at 8:00 PM

This is too delicious for words, but I will say that I don’t think that the political landscape could get any more transparent.
Well said Ed, you’re a veritable wordsmith.

I think the old MoTown tune: ‘Whenever you want me, I’ll be there, whenever you need me, I’ll be there…I’ll be around’, would be a lovely song to play at McCain’s next rally. ;-)

Christine on September 24, 2008 at 8:03 PM

In a nutshell, can someone help catch me up? Thanks

karenhasfreedom on September 24, 2008 at 8:00 PM

McCain is “OODA Looping” the crap out of the Obama campaign at the moment and putting out the chum for the next two weeks campaign ads.

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 8:04 PM

CC

CNN is protraying all of this as an Obama is the masterpiece of calm in the center of a meltdown and McCain is just an old has been pulling a political stunt here. I miss my fox news. I am going to HAMMER Holland America cruise lines for not having Fox News on their ships. AUGH.

karenhasfreedom on September 24, 2008 at 8:10 PM

McCain is out flanking the enemy. Obama is a sitting duck, or maybe a lame duck is a better description. The idiot actually thinks he has taken the upper hand with this issue by stating “a President should be capable of doing more than one thing at a time, so I’m not canceling the debate.” Obama also stated “if they need me in Congress, they can call me and I’ll help out.”

What an absolute arrogant rookie fool!

Keemo on September 24, 2008 at 8:10 PM

Karen:

Yesterday, Reid told McCain the Democrats wouldn’t vote for it without him pulling in some Republicans… had to have him. Today, after he postponed the debate to go to DC and solve this problem, Reid promptly said “No, we don’t need you to come to DC”. I doubt CNN gave you both stories….

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 8:12 PM

I only wish that Allah’s rosy scenario would come true. It’s certainly not how Carl Cameron is reporting it, which goes something like this:

Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner are working nicely together and don’t need McCain’s help in what’s a calculated political move on McCain’s part…

Buy Danish on September 24, 2008 at 7:39 PM

A great opportunity for McCain to expose the media for their idiocy as well, maybe he can say something like this” I am aware that the media as well as the democrats are pushing the line that this is a political stunt. It is apparent that some are not prepared to take this crisis with the seriousness it requires, so frankly their opinion is if little consequence right now for those of us who believe country must come before party at a time like this”

neuquenguy on September 24, 2008 at 8:12 PM

Dingy Harry. Still dingy after all these years.

Heh.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on September 24, 2008 at 8:16 PM

I’ll bet Obama would like to run Harry’s tiny balls through a sausage grinder about right now. Heh.

hillbillyjim on September 24, 2008 at 8:18 PM

I’ll bet Obama would like to run Harry’s tiny balls through a sausage grinder about right now. Heh.

hillbillyjim on September 24, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Any discussion of this type causes Barry to look over his shoulder for Jesse….

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 8:28 PM

Bush asked Obama to come back to DC…. (Developing on Drudge).

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 8:29 PM

Bush asked Obama to come back to DC…. (Developing on Drudge).

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 8:29 PM

Are you serious? why is he giving THE ONE a way out? this is so typical….

neuquenguy on September 24, 2008 at 8:32 PM

More good news….

http://wcbstv.com/breakingnewsalerts/charles.rangel.investigation.2.824777.html

Investigation opened on Rangel…

CC

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 8:34 PM

Dingy Harry says,
“Reid my lips: I talk tough to McCain…when he’s out of town.”

jgapinoy on September 24, 2008 at 8:50 PM

If McCain gets 50 states, that still leaves seven for Obama.

Cicero43 on September 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM

ROTFLMAO

Calm Before the Storm on September 24, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Gawd, I can’t wait until they finally catch Reid with an underage Indonesian poolboy.

Alden Pyle on September 24, 2008 at 9:14 PM

Without a photo of AP, I kinda thinks he ‘favors’ (a southern term) Reid – especially when a new poll -snap or otherwise- comes out.

Fuquay Steve on September 24, 2008 at 9:18 PM

The idea that McCain could be in DC tomorrow and Friday until 5PM EST and then jet over to Mississippi (by what time CST?), to ‘debate’ with BO would strain the powers of even the most energetic of presidential candidates. If McCain was able to pull it off, this would mean that he was able to do 2 things at once and be virtually omnipresent, just like The One.

Christine on September 24, 2008 at 9:26 PM

Ed, the dems will never allow Dodd to cooperate with McCain. They are willing to see a depression occur before they allow any credit to go to the GOP. Sad… but true.

I know that McCain plays politics too, but he truly put his country before party. Its too bad that it will hurt him.

lionheart on September 24, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Oh, and I forgot to say that McCain would actually be doing something to help the situation, unlike Barry. (Whether he will be able/allowed to do that remains to be seen.)

Christine on September 24, 2008 at 9:30 PM

Hmmm deal immediately with the “biggest financial crisis of our time” or go to Ole Miss and debate hypotheticals on foreign policy….

decisions decisions….

Butters on September 24, 2008 at 9:33 PM

I am a natural born optimist…always look on the bright side of life.

But my cynicism is still worn on my cuff.

It is still 50-50 out there.

“Nothing is written, nothing is done”.

Easy out there.

Over.

1GooDDaDDy on September 24, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Incredibly biased from a d*ckhead who’s been bashing the GOP for not showing leadership.

Now he wants leadership but tells Sen. McCain not to come? Is that leadership from the majority leader?

madmonkphotog on September 24, 2008 at 9:41 PM

“THIS is Ceti Alpha V!”

Whoooops, wrong thread. Or is it…?

Sir Loin on September 24, 2008 at 10:02 PM

If McCain gets 50 states, that still leaves seven for Obama.

Cicero43 on September 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM

I’ll bet ACORN registered dead people voters in all 57 too!

electric-rascal on September 24, 2008 at 10:20 PM

That dumbass Reid was playing ball with Obama. Obama was not going to take a position on this issue until McCain did, and THEN he was going to hammer McCain no matter what he said.

This is Obama’s m.o.- it always has been.

That’s why you’ve nothing from that scumbag pretender.

drjohn on September 24, 2008 at 10:36 PM

I note that Senator Reid has not requested Senator Obama’s presence. It kind of shows Barry’s importance in this whole matter from Reid’s perspective.

unclesmrgol on September 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM

Uh, uh, it’s above his pay grade?

N4646W on September 25, 2008 at 1:29 AM

The OODA thing by McCain is driving all the dems cuckoo. Watching Chrisy on Rachel Maddog’s new show his spittle was working overtime – razzle dazzle was invoked no less than 20 times. NPR was buzzing. The local dems were just frustrated with the maverickness. They can’t box him in. What he has done to us on the right for so many years, is just making the lefty’s go baddy. “He can’t postpone the debates!” Quoting Chris, we want someone that is predictable. Yeah, Obama is predictably leftist-marxist. That’s the ticket!

Sergei on September 25, 2008 at 1:46 AM

Harry Reid is such a trip!

One minute the little schmuck is telling McCain to stay out of Washington.

The next minute, he’s on his hands and knees begging for McCain to come to Washington.

So what will it be one minute more from now, Harry?

pilamaye on September 25, 2008 at 8:10 AM

Barry seems to have forgotten that as a sitting US senator, he actually has a JOB that he was purportedly elected to do.
Is anyone surprised that he’s still out campaigning? After all, that’s what he’s spent the preponderance of his Senate career doing.

This should come back to bite him in the butt big time.

VelvetElvis on September 25, 2008 at 8:24 AM

Harry Reid is a “party over country” disgrace. Many times over.. Nazi Pelosi is in that league as well……….

adamsmith on September 25, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Pelosi and Reid are two of the most despicable people in America.

marklmail on September 25, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Reid, April 2007: The war in Iraq is lost.

McCain, August 2008: We are winning in Iraq.

Reid, September 2008: Let’s adjourn Congress. The economy is hopeless.

McCain: I’m going to Washington to work on the economy.

Reid: Please don’t come to Washington!

Anybody notice a pattern here?

What happened in Las Vegas should have stayed in Las Vegas. Let’s not play roulette with the economy!

Steve Z on September 25, 2008 at 11:09 AM

McCain wins in a landslide, 43 50 states.

CapedConservative on September 24, 2008 at 7:18 PM

If McCain gets 50 states, that still leaves seven for Obama.

Cicero43 on September 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM

There may be 50 states, but there are 51 souses of electoral votes. Of course, D.C. is really just a 3 vote handicap given to the dems…

Count to 10 on September 25, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Since this whole bailout bill is about Wall Street, what does Wall Street think of “McCain Goes to Washington”?

Dow Jones +1.92%
NASDAQ +1.48%
S&P 500 +1.66%

While Congress was dithering the last three days, the markets were down. The people with the most money to lose seem to be betting on McCain.

Steve Z on September 25, 2008 at 11:21 AM

If Obama insists on going to the Debate, McCain should announce Friday morning that he will send Palin in his place. Thus showing confidence in her ability to ‘step in and fill his shoes’. Obama will not know what to do – cancel and refuse to appear with Palin, or appear in a no-win situation. Mr. Maverick will show that he is CONTINUALLY proving his decision-making is well-above average and a leader we can believe in.

jerseyman on September 25, 2008 at 12:07 PM

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