Update: McCain sent packing -- headed to debate.In a press conference this morning, Sen. Harry Reid said that presidential politics has been harmful to the bailout negotiations. Reid said McCain's presence has not mattered one iota. He said they're working to get the bailout done over the weekend.
McCain crashed the party with his superman tights, trying to rescue his campaign.
TNR: WASHINGTON--John McCain's sudden intervention in Washington's deliberations over the Wall Street bailout could not have been more out of sync with what was actually happening.
He lamented that "partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges." But for days, bipartisanship has been the rule on both sides of this argument. Republicans and Democrats alike were highly critical of President Bush's proposal to inject $700 billion into the financial system. Yet leaders of both parties were trying hard to negotiate an agreement with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. That's why they were close to an agreement in principle even before the two presidential nominees arrived for yesterday's White House meeting that McCain thought was so important.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner normally fight about everything. But on Wednesday they issued a joint statement noting that "working in a bipartisan manner, we have made progress." That was true at least until yesterday's meeting, when Boehner, facing conservative defections, roiled the talks by offering an entirely new proposal.
And if McCain had been following the negotiations closely, he would have known that at times this week, Senate Democrats worried that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was too eager for a deal. read more.