Mike Castle, TARP martyr
Add defeated Republican Senate candidate Mike Castle of Delaware to the list of TARP Martyrs. He joins Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Reps. Bob Inglis and J. Gresham Barrett, both South Carolina Republicans, on the list of members of Congress who voted for the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program in 2008 -- only to be punished for it at the polls later on.
Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell made Castle's vote for the bailout fund a major issue in the campaign. No matter that TARP probably saved the U.S. and world economies at a cost to taxpayers that will end up at far less than the initial $700 billion outlay, due to earlier-than-expected repayments by the major banks. It's a reminder that the Tea Party is as much an anti-Wall Street movement as an anti-Washington one -- and that its success could make it that much more difficult to rally bipartisan support for necessary, but ideologically impure, economic legislation.
Oh, and by the way, you know who I think must be gnashing his teeth in Delaware right now? That would be Attorney General Beau Biden, the Vice President's son, who passed up a run for his old man's Senate seat. Yes, he said he couldn't leave office before finishing up a major child abuse prosecution in the state -- but privately he also factored in the conventional wisdom that Castle was nearly unbeatable. He's had health problems since, but still -- he's gotta be thinking about the might-have-beens right now, given the conventional wisdom that O'Donnell will lose to Democrat Chris Coons.
Of course, that conventional wisdom could prove wrong, too. We shall see.
| September 15, 2010; 12:10 PM ET
Categories: Lane | Tags: Charles Lane
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