"He’s been irrelevant to the process. He remains to be," said Frank. "I was afraid that his dropping in here, like Andy Kaufman’s Mighty Mouse—'here I am to save the day'—I thought that would slow things down. I didn’t see any sign of our Republican colleagues paying any attention to him whatsoever."
Franks went on. "Nobody mentioned him. The man’s irrelevant to the whole process. No Republican mentioned his name. I’m the only one who raised his name. They winced when I did," he said.
"I don’t think anyone takes that seriously," said Frank of McCain's suggestion that Friday's debate be delayed. "Sen. McCain trying to use the necessity for his presence to reach a deal that we’ve already reached as a reason to duck the debate is unworthy of him. There is absolutely no reason not to go to the debate."
Frank was equally cool about today's meeting with the White House. "The White House isn’t show and tell. We’re going to the White House because the president asked us to go. Nobody thinks at this point that anything useful’s going to happen. But we now have to get things drafted and worked on. The White House meeting is just an interruption in our schedule," he said.
Though he said McCain's presence would be unhelpful, he did say, getting a dig in at McCain's running mate, that there "were times when I was ready to suggest that, when we got to some of the more complicated issues about how do you price these sophisticated instruments, that we ask him to make Sarah Palin available to give us her expertise."