Mighty Mouse McCain

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a chief author of the economic rescue package, doesn't think much of John McCain's late entry into the negotiations.

"McCain is Andy Kaufman in his Mighty Mouse costume - 'Here I Come to Save the Day,'" Frank said as he left a Thursday morning caucus meeting with House Democrats, saying the Republican presidential candidate's decision to enter the mix "is not helpful."

"He hasn't been involved," Frank said. "He doesn't know anything about it."

Frank, who has been working furiously to finalize legislation granting Treasury the authority to buy hundreds of billions in distressed mortgage-related assets, believes McCain's entry "injects an...element of partisanship" into already tenuous negotiations.

"We are making very real progress," the visibly tired chairman said. "This is a stunt. I hope people will be able to ignore it. He doesn't bring anything to it."

Note to readers born after, say, 1985 who never saw the Jim Carrey biopic "Man in the Moon": Andy Kaufman was a popular comedian whose many bits included an understated rendition of the Mighty Mouse theme song.

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