As the fallout begins to flood through the halls of Congress in the wake of the defeat of the bailout compromise in the House, CBS News' chief political consultant Marc Ambinder looks at what it might mean to John McCain. The Republican candidate suspended his campaign momentarily last week to return to Washington to work on the crisis. His chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, yesterday touted the results. "What Senator McCain was able to do was to help bring all of the parties to the table," Schmidt told NBC News, "including the House Republicans, whose votes were needed to pass this."
Now that the bill has been defeated with larger-than-expected GOP defections, Ambinder asks: "If McCain wanted credit for passage, should he share some of the blame for its defeat? Two thirds of half Republicans voted for its defeat...after a weekend of telephone call diplomacy from McCain."
The McCain campaign has released a statement on the vote:
"From the minute John McCain suspended his campaign and arrived in Washington to address this crisis, he was attacked by the Democratic leadership: Senators Obama and Reid, Speaker Pelosi and others. Their partisan attacks were an effort to gain political advantage during a national economic crisis. By doing so, they put at risk the homes, livelihoods and savings of millions of American families. Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill. Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome. This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country."Update: Obama spokesperson Bill Burton reacts to the vote in a statement:
"This is a moment of national crisis, and today's inaction in Congress as well as the angry and hyper-partisan statement released by the McCain campaign are exactly why the American people are disgusted with Washington. Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to join together and act in a way that prevents an economic catastrophe. Every American should be outraged that an era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and Washington has led us to this point, but now that we are here, the stability of our entire economy depends on us taking immediate action to ease this crisis."