Sure, the comparisons between Herbert Hoover and McCain were inevitable ever since McCain asserted "the fundamentals of the economy are strong."

But if you think about it, McCain’s about to do Hoover one better. After all, Hoover didn’t fuck up the response to a financial crisis until after he was President. McCain’s little photo op seems to have scuttled the Paulson deal, just as it was almost finalized.

Democrats complained of being “blindsided” by a new conservative
alternative to the plan first put forward by Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson. And the outcome casts doubt on the ability of Congress to move
quickly on the matter, even after leaders of House and Senate banking
committees reached a bipartisan agreement Thursday on the framework for
legislation authorizing the massive government intervention.

It was McCain who urged President Bush to call the White House
meeting attended by House and Senate leaders as well as Obama, his
Democratic rival. But the candidates left without commenting to
reporters outside, and the whole sequence of events confirmed
Treasury’s fears about inserting presidential politics into what were
already difficult negotiations.


At the same time House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney
Frank (D-Mass.) said he feared McCain was undercutting Paulson by
appealing to conservatives in the House.

“McCain and the House Republicans are undercutting the Paulson plan,
talking about a wholly different approach,” Frank said prior to the
meeting. “This is the presidential campaign of John McCain undermining
what Hank Paulson tells us is essential for the country.”

What is it that I saw on those signs, again? "Photo Op First"?



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.