Bush Meeting Was Requested by McCain

Bump and Update: The New York Times reports the Bush meeting was "precipitated" by McCain:

The meeting with Mr. Bush on Thursday was precipitated by a call from Mr. McCain, who cast his request as a matter of urgent national priority. “Following Sept. 11, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis,” he told a small group of reporters, while reading the brief statement from a teleprompter, in a small ballroom at the New York Hilton Hotel. “We must show that kind of patriotism now.”

Could it be any more clear that McCain just made his second Hail Mary pass of this election? Is there anything he won't put second to his personal ambition of becoming President? At least his desperation is becoming transparent to all but his base -- even the media gets it.

Original Post

Bush Invites Obama to Bailout Meeting Tomorrow

ABC News reports:[More...]

ABC News has learned that President Bush called Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., this evening and invited him to participate in a meeting about the Wall Street bailout bill tomorrow afternoon in Washington, DC, with other congressional leaders, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Obama accepted.

President Bush's move could be seen as an attempt to aid McCain's gambit by creating a presidential-level meeting where the Arizona Republican is present.

The debate Friday is expected to take place as scheduled.

Update: Obama's statement on the meeting with Bush:
“A few moments ago, President Bush called Senator Obama and asked him to attend a meeting in Washington tomorrow, which he agreed to do. Senator Obama has been working all week with leaders in Congress, Secretary Paulson, and Chairman Bernanke to improve this proposal, and he has said that he will continue to work in a bipartisan spirit and do whatever is necessary to come up with a final solution. He strongly believes the debate should go forward on Friday so that the American people can hear from their next President about how he will lead America forward at this defining moment for our country,” said Obama-Biden spokesman Bill Burton.
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    McCain has lost all (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by bjorn on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:04:27 PM EST
    credibility.  I don't think this is going to work.  Independents will see this for what it is, imo.

    And they are the ones who will decide this thing.

    A few thoughts (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:08:08 PM EST
    First, if the President asks to see you, you agree. Second, there is no reason not to do the meeting and the debate. Third, if it looks like John McCain arranged this with Bush, so much the better.

    yep. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:14:25 PM EST
    talk about chicken littles. there's a bunch in this thread.

    nsw43 (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by nsw43 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:21:54 PM EST
    McCain is acting so erratic it's getting scary. He doesn't come off as presidential in the least -- more like someone who's gone off his meds and is running in 10 directions at once. What a frightening thing to think of him actually being president!

    Of course Obama will be photo'ed... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Salo on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:03:59 PM EST
    ...embracing Big W. Is this going to be a televised meeting or, as I suspect a private carve up of the American Empire?

    But, didn't you see the photo of (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:06:53 PM EST
    Obama holding McCain's elbow while they walked together at the Sept. 11 memorial event?  The guy is a master at positioning himself to look the strongest.  

    really? (none / 0) (#29)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:11:09 PM EST
    Obama did that?

    I can't find the photo, so maybe he didn't. (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:58:09 PM EST
    NYT photo had McCain, then Cindy McCain to his right and Obama to her right.  

    still... (none / 0) (#60)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 11:52:35 AM EST
    I kinda can imagine it.



    Do either of you... (none / 0) (#3)
    by rdandrea on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:10:37 PM EST
    ...have anything to discuss here that's relevant, let alone important?

    It's very dangerous... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Salo on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:13:55 PM EST
    ...to be meeting with Bush. I have absolutely no idea what they are about to discuss. Or what game was just played out here.  Both sides have raised the stakes for the debate, thrown some names around and now Bush will sit at the head of a table addressing Obama and McCain directly before a scheduled debate?

    It's theatrical lunacy.


    It is not possible (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:24:45 PM EST
    to refuse a meeting with the President under these circumstances.  Unlike McCain's gambit of today, this was a situation with no real options.

    But this was just Bush. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:31:03 PM EST
    Oh wait.  He's still President, you say?  Never mind.

    I suppose there's some cutting remarks (none / 0) (#11)
    by Salo on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:35:36 PM EST
    that obama could make about Laura's drapery.

    Be nice to Laura today. She said to a (none / 0) (#13)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:50:07 PM EST
    reporter today that SP is not now qualified to be VP.

    Not quite (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:39:57 PM EST
    She said Palin has no foreign policy experience. Which is true.  Laura's own husband had none either when he was elected, and I think she thought he was qualified.

    Really?! Awesome! (none / 0) (#24)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:59:49 PM EST
    Give us the link!  Give us the link!  This is fabulous news!  

    Laura sez: (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ding7777 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:47:08 PM EST
    From the AP

    First lady Laura Bush said Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lacks sufficient foreign policy experience but is a very quick study.

    In an interview Wednesday with CNN, the first lady remarked that it's fortunate that Republican presidential nominee John McCain has foreign policy experience himself.

    Still, Mrs. Bush said she has a lot of confidence in Palin. She said the Alaska governor has a lot of good common sense, and the first lady added that she is thrilled to have a chance to vote for Palin on the GOP ticket.

    Mrs. Bush also said she thinks Palin is being treated unfairly because she is a woman. That, the first lady said, is to be expected.

    If only (none / 0) (#46)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:51:37 PM EST
    the Republicans understood that they make a much better case for themselves when they acknowledge the obvious (like Laura Bush did here), as opposed to making absurd arguments (like "you can see Russia from Alaska") that persuade only the Kool-Aid drinkers.  I guess it's better for us that they choose not to live in the real world.

    Not the interview I heard (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:06:18 PM EST
    on the radio today. She said she was excited to be be able to vote for Sarah Palin. (Heard it on the car radio today)

    Laura's excited about voting (none / 0) (#37)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:27:59 PM EST
    For someone who is not qualified?  She actually said that Sarah isn't qualified to be VP?  That is HUGE!  

    I can't recall Laura acting (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by byteb on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:50:22 PM EST
    excited about anything. She's always the same.

    I think McCain just won for today. (4.25 / 4) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:15:46 PM EST
    Afterall, now Obama is going to the D.C. too.

    McCain did win (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by Miserere mei on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:58:52 PM EST
    And Obama is being setup. I'm surprised no one has seen that here.

    Here is what I think is going to happen. They will meet with Bush - Bush will tell them both that as the new leaders of their respective parties that they must concentrate on leading their people to a reasonable compromise and should stay in DC until a solution is found.

    That will paint Obama into a corner and if does not do that he will look very bad in the public eye. And when he does do it he will be following McCain's lead who was out front on this today with Obama saying No Way.

    Either way Obama loses because he did not have the strategic vision or the tactical wherewithal to beat McCain to the punch and trump him on leadership. In other words Obama's Talk Talk Talk DNA of playing it safe cost him, while McCain was not afraid to role the dice and then set the GOP machine in motion.

    I'd go on about what will happen next but that is enough for people to digest for now. But it is all so clear what is going to transpire here.


    hm (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:13:51 PM EST
    It can backfire.  If the american people feel that bush is putting his thumb on the presidential election scales...

    Yes. . . (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:16:01 PM EST
    look for the McCain campaign to be asked if they communicated with the White House about this.

    It is not going to backfire (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Miserere mei on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:25:44 PM EST
    because Obama will only have two moves and the GOP has each one covered. My take is that Obama will remain in DC instead of letting McCain lead in DC while Obama stands on a debate stage alone. I mean he is not that dumb to let McCain shine while he appears arrogant and out of touch is he?

    And when he stays in DC other hammers will fall and there is not a damned thing he can do about it because they will have him on the ropes.

    I hate the GOP's platform but damned I admire how clever they are when it comes to playing the game of politics.


    Clever? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Gabriel on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:30:37 PM EST
    They lost Congress and are about to lose the WH.

    Not very clever.


    Clever? Beat Obama to the punch? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Don in Seattle on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 12:54:14 PM EST
    Are you saying that Obama wanted to postpone or cancel tomorrow night's debate? That Obama wanted to be:

    • caught in a bald-faced lie on Letterman,
    • made a national laughingstock,
    • perceived as concocting lame excuses for being unprepared to debate?

    The polls suggest that about 80% of Americans, and 75% of Republicans, want a debate to take place as scheduled; only 10% want it to be postponed. We can only imagine what your reaction would be if Obama tried such an unprofessional stunt as pulling out of a scheduled debate 48 hours ahead of time.

    Obama now needs only to show up at the debate site. Then if McCain shows up, too, he'll have flip-flopped spectacularly; and if McCain doesn't show, Obama will be credited with winning in a walkover.

    Miserere mei, do you actually play chess? Because I do. When you sacrifice a pawn in the opening, that's a gambit. When you throw away a rook late in the middle game, it's a blunder.


    People wouldn't expect (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:25:48 PM EST
    A republican President to help a republican candidate to win?  Didn't we criticize Bill Clinton for not helping Gore more?  

    Geez, was it that long ago? (none / 0) (#50)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:34:24 PM EST
    No, we didn't criticize Clinton for not helping Gore out, we criticized Gore for stiff-arming Clinton and not letting him campaign for him.

    Not to be rude, but how old are you?


    Yuppers (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:58:15 PM EST
    McCain sounded "Presidential" today when he suspended his campaign to save the nation, or whatever the heck he called it.  Then everyone waited for Obama to respond.  (I never heard the answer to that.  Is Obama also suspending his campaign?)  McCain said that the debate should be postponed until they had saved the world, or something close to that.  Then everyone waited for Obama to respond.  Bush invited them both to the White House and McCain jumped right on it.  Then everyone waited for Obama to respond.  

    Forgive me if that's not how it all really happened.  I was listening to it unfold while driving/working today.  I was in and out of the car so I may have missed some parts of the drama, but the above is how it seemed to me.  McCain said something, then everyone waited for Obama to respond.  

    Obama was had today and I fear he will be had tomorrow.   McCain campaign and Bush are playing him like a fiddle.  :(  


    I have yet to find anyone (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:09:16 PM EST
    who thought that McCain looked like anything other than a guy pulling an obvious stunt.  I'm sure they're out there.

    McCain sounded desperate (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Gabriel on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:11:14 PM EST
    an asking for a time out because the Palin bounce has disappeared and he's losing the election.

    McCain's announcement was 2 p.m. (none / 0) (#31)
    by Cream City on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:11:34 PM EST
    in my time zone -- I was flipping on channels as it broke first on Fox, which said it and others had the announcement for a while, but it was embargoed until that time (or I would not recall it to the minute:-).  And that apparently was about half an hour after McCain and Obama finally had their phone call?

    As for the rest of the timing, I monitored it while prepping for a meeting, and the tv types kept announcing that Obama's response was coming, but it was delayed several times.  It began a bit under two hours after McCain's announcement, a bit before 4 p.m. (I know because I could only catch part of it, as I had to head to a meeting at 4).  

    Re Obama also suspending his campaign, ads, etc. -- no.  So McCain may save a lot of money while Obama spends even more?  


    The delays yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:21:39 AM EST
    Did not look good for Obama.  I would love to see him respond quickly, and more forcefully.  

    McCain sounded like he was staging (none / 0) (#42)
    by byteb on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:46:57 PM EST
    a stunt because his poll numbers are down. He sounded pathetic, hysterical and desperate.

    I knew Rove would pull a punch (none / 0) (#16)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:02:49 PM EST
    after the bad polls about the debate...

    just have his good friend Bush invite Obama to DC on an invitation he couldn't even begin to turn down w/o looking bad...

    and we all know that Bush/McCain will do their darndest to make sure that Obama can't make it out of DC for any reason...

    Oh that Rove...gotta love people who treat politics and the lives of so many Americans as a big fun game...

    The Democrats need to catch up and realize that politics is just a big game, otherwise they'll continue to lose...


    Oh no (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Miserere mei on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:18:13 PM EST
    This was not in response to the debate polls. What McCain did about wanting to go to DC and postponing the debate was the first move to setup Obama. And Obama took the bait hook, line and sinker.

    If he followed McCain then McCain would have won because McCain lead. If he didn't follow McCain then Bush makes his speech - then invites them to DC - and then they corner Obama.

    The GOP is always thinking a few moves ahead and anticipating the different ways their opponent will react and they always have a few moves already mapped out so that no matter what the patsy does they just grin and watch what is already planned.


    this is ridiculous. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by byteb on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:48:21 PM EST
    your whole line of 'reasoning' is taking place in a different reality.

    yep (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:56:59 PM EST
    because as we know (none / 0) (#20)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:24:47 PM EST
    politics, and thus America and the lives it encompasses, is just a big game to the Republicans...

    Politics is Politics (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Miserere mei on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:32:20 PM EST
    and it always has and will always be a game. our founding fathers playes this game except sometimes they would even shoot each other. And this game has been played like this long before our continent was even discovered.

    The problem is not how the GOP plays the game. The problem is how the Democrats don't play it.


    Disagree completely... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by laila on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:28:31 PM EST
    Bush needs that bailout desperately.  He needs both candidates to agree totally with him on it so it passes in congress.  If one agrees with him and the other doesn't then one is painted like Bush, while the other is painted like the change candidate.  This paranoia is unfounded.  McCain is playing politics yes, but I don't think they will trap Obama, I think they will pick his brain for Ideas and they all come out with a bailout plan that is acceptable to both sides.  McCain saves face and Obama stays right where he is in the polls.  What Bush wants is Obama's economic advisers pronto.  
    The only reason Wallstreet didn't completely collapse after last weeks meltdown was BECAUSE OF RUMORS OF THE BAILOUT.  What happens if the Bailout fails?  Wallstreet drops like a rock.  Not everything is a game.  Some things are just plain do or die.

    I'm having a hard time believing... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by sj on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 09:36:48 AM EST
    ...that Bush needs anything desperately.  He doesn't care enough.

    Aren't democrats supporting the bailout? (none / 0) (#56)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:23:16 AM EST
    So that all those low income people don't lose their homes?  

    Bush desperately needs to line his own (none / 0) (#63)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 04:08:39 AM EST
    pockets, and his buddies' pockets, before he quits town.

    Of course it's a big game (none / 0) (#35)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:24:28 PM EST
    It's politics!  The Presidential campaign is the biggest political game of all because it has the biggest stakes and it's winner take all.  

    I continue to be disappointed in the Obama campaign.  They always seem to be a step behind the republicans.  Were it not for McCain campaign maneuvers, we would be WAAAAY ahead.  

    Here's my fear of what will happen over the next few days.
    McCain is going to come off as leading the charge in the Senate while Obama is still debating what to do.  Obama will be fussing about the campaign debate while McCain is doing his job in the Senate, working on a bipartisan bill.  McCain will be on the Hill, convincing the republicans to vote with the democrats on the bailout, and thus saving the world from financial ruin (or so it will be portrayed).  Obama, also a Senator, will be on his campaign bus, not doing his job, not bringing anyone together in Washington, and fussing about the debates.  Guess who will be seen as the agent of change?  Who will be seen as doing his job?  Who will be seen as a leader?  Who will be seen as putting the nation's financial mess ahead of his campaign?  

    I am scared.  This could be big, and so far Obama hasn't responded as he should.  Please tell me that I am wrong.  Please tell me that tomorrow Obama will look like a leader, go to the Senate, work on a bipartisan bill, etc.  Please tell me that he will say of course his campaign isn't as important as fixing this financial mess before we go into the second Great Depression.  Please DO NOT  let the McCain campaign continue to take the lead on the issue!  


    Yep (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:33:13 PM EST
    I smelled a rat immediately. The plan that will come out will have Obama's stamp of approval on it and why would anyone trust Obama on the economy when he agreed with both McCain and Bush.

    Only you and Mark Halperin (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by byteb on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:52:16 PM EST
    see today as a win for John.

    On balance Bush did just do a speech. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Salo on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:19:11 PM EST
    So that had to hurt McCain a bit.

    It's dodging the debate that is his problem. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:47:55 PM EST
    Bush inviting the two together to the same meeting does have the possibility that it will keep them away from the Congress, all those loud but quiet meetings where the work is getting done, but gives them an equal public occasion to be visible onsite  on the issue. Now they can't say O was a no-show in DC, and that McC has done something he has not. Gone to DC to deal with the crisis. Dodd was on tv tonight and did manage to say that he has heard from O a lot this week about ideas for the plan, but has heard the big zippo from McC.

    I wonder what McC will do if the Repubs go with the part of the country tht doesn't want a bailout at all and wants  Wall Street to eat its losses like a man, and oppose the bailout categorically. It's not yet clear they won't do that, esp. those running for election in constituencies which do not support this distant Wall Street buyout when they are getting no help.

    But McC not showing up in Miss. is a wholly separate problem for McCain because it makes it look like he can't handle the debate and the crisis at the same time. Because O got to DC and will still be at Ole Miss, raring to go.


    McCain will fly in at the last minute, (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:30:59 PM EST
    After having worked some 'miracle' in the Senate with the bailout bill.   He will breathlessly run on the stage to announce to the world that he has convinced Senate republicans to vote with the democrats and thus, has saved us all from certain financial ruin.  He will be the agent of change!  Barf.

    the debate was never really off. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Salo on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:51:01 PM EST
    catch up with the news please.

    Focus (none / 0) (#8)
    by downtownted on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:24:33 PM EST
    To keep an understanding of what is really happening on the economic front, i.e. the reason for the bailout, I suggest you stay tuned in to Paul Krugman's blog at http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/.

    Krugman is hardly a neutral (none / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:38:35 PM EST
    observer and he understands politics not at all.

    Try Steven Pearlstein at the Washington Post.  He's not a partisan like Krugman.


    The economic crisis is a serious problem for all (none / 0) (#53)
    by DeborahNC on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 12:04:46 AM EST
    Americans, but a tragedy for Republican politics. Historically, Democrats usually have a bit of an advantage over Republicans when the issue is related to the economy, and, of course, the Republicans know that too.

    That's why I'm surprised Rove and Co. didn't try to persuade Paulson to delay this announcement until a later date. Hence, I'm convinced that the American economy is indeed in serious trouble; otherwise, a public announcement would have been postponed to save McCain's candidacy.

    Bailing out their buddies on Wall Street is obviously more important than either the McCain candidacy or the welfare of Americans as a whole (except a select few).

    This just in.. (none / 0) (#57)
    by DeanOR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:07:46 AM EST
    Mr McCain has requested that for national security reasons the Friday debate be held in an undisclosed location with no video or audio.

    mccain has jumped the shark (none / 0) (#58)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 04:17:10 AM EST
    bizarre, unpredictable and without even reading Paulson's plan he has formulated that the situation is so dire we need to stop the presidential race to address it.  

    If he were president I would imagine he might just cancel christmas.

    He just guaranteed himself a double digit loss...

    Mccain: Leadership or Political Ploy? (none / 0) (#62)
    by caesar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:43:08 PM EST
    Mccain is using us.


    read my blog.