Chuck's Plan B for the bailout -- take $150 billion and call us in January for the rest -- seems to have rung the bell for Barack Obama.
"When it comes to phasing in the bailout, I do think it is important to recognize we have a short term problem of keeping the markets functioning," he told reporters today. "How much of the request that Secretary Paulson has made that deals with that short term problem, hasn't been made clear and it is something that Sec. Paulson should answer. If it is enough for us to look at $150 billion to $200 billion to cover that emergency, and there is an understanding that we have to set up some institutional structures in the long term, then I think that is something worth exploring.
"The key is that we are actually dealing with the immediate crisis. I think it is important for Congress to recognize that we don't do something too small that gets us back into this fix.... We have a leaky boat. We need to make sure that boat gets into the harbor and then we have to make repairs."