1 p.m. ET: After an appropriate period of mourning for the economic bailout/rescue bill, attention has shifted this fine Tuesday to how and when to bring the patient back to life.
President Bush spoke again from the White House this morning -- he really, really means it this time -- to say that passage of a bill remains imperative. Harry Reid said the Senate definitely will vote on the package, though he didn't say when or whether his chamber would go before or after the House, where negotiations are underway to come up with a new deal and a new vote.
Barack Obama, meanwhile, appears to be in an increasingly strong position. It may just be his race to lose. (Key quote: "As best I can tell, no one running for president since 1976 who has held a consistent lead after the first debate has ever lost.") Both Obama and John McCain are calling for the FDIC to raise its limits on federally insured bank deposits.
McCain changed an initial plan to come to Washington, and is instead going to Kansas City. But he also hasn't ruled out suspending the campaign again, a la last week, if necessary to saving the rescue bill, saying this morning: "I'll do whatever I can to make this thing work."
8 a.m. ET: Politics is usually a zero-sum game, but on Monday, everyone managed to lose. Did anyone come out of yesterday's events looking better than they had the day before? Consider:
• President Bush could not possibly have less clout.
• John McCain seemed to take credit for a win that didn't happen. Last week's intervention by McCain in the negotiations looks worse and worse.
• Barack Obama was lukewarm, and did almost nothing to help save the vote. It was his base in the House that voted "no."
• Nancy Pelosi couldn't resist taking shots at the GOP, when the moment called for statesmanship.
• John Boehner could only deliver one-third of his GOP Conference, and still irritated conservatives. He's in trouble.
• Opponents of the bill may have won, but did they? What's their alternative as the markets collapse? Or would they rather have the issue than the deal?
The path ahead now looks murky. The earliest the House would return to take another crack at the bailout is Thursday, meaning we could have the second bailout vote AND the VP debate on the same day. To co-opt those irritating baseball commercials, "There's Only One October!"
What will McCain and Obama do? McCain will be in Iowa today, while Obama visits Nevada, but It's hard to escape the thought that if they had both returned to Washington this week, instead of last week, and each set about lobbying members of their own party, their combined efforts could have yielded the extra 12 House votes that were missing yesterday.
Instead, they've both distanced themselves from the defeat. Obama has called for Congress to keep working at it, but hasn't provided much guidance or offered much help. And McCain, amusingly, blamed Obama and his fellow Democrats for the loss, right before saying that now is not the time to blame anyone. To borrow a phrase from the McCain camp's post-debate spin -- this was definitely not a "leadership moment." For anyone.
September 30, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
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