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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Chess of Presidential Politics

posted by on September 26 at 8:16 AM

In this game, McCain’s game, the possible moves and their consequences:

To a large extent, McCain has taken a riverboat gamble because (1) he is not even on the Senate banking committee and Dodd won’t give him the time of day, let alone a real role in shaping the bill, (2) the ranking member of the banking committee (Shelby) opposes the bill, and (3) the House Republicans are in open revolt against the President. If McCain tucks his tail between his legs and flies to Mississippi to debate Obama at Ole Miss, he will hardly look like a man of action who flew to Washington, banged heads together, and got a bill. On the other hand, if he stays in Washington to work on the bill (meaning fighting Dodd, Shelby, and the House Republicans) Obama will ask the moderator, Jim Lehrer, to moderate a town hall meeting with questions from the audience. That would be an unmitigated disaster for McCain. Obama would get at least an hour of free TV time and look like a President at a press conference fielding questions in a mature way and McCain would look like just another squabbling congressman. Of course, McCain knows this very well so he will try really, really hard to get a bill today so he can fly off to Mississippi in triumph. Dodd, of course, knows all this, too, and will try to extract huge concessions from McCain (which he knows Boehner will never swallow) in return for a bill today. It’s all high-stakes poker with Paulson, Bush, Dodd, Boehner, McCain and Obama all having different interests. Anything is possible at this point.

Tomorrow might be the first day of Obama’s presidency.

RSS icon Comments


"which he knows Boehner will never swallow"

I LOVE politix!!

Posted by boner1! | September 26, 2008 8:17 AM

Feels more like checkers than chess. McCain may well be done at this point.

Posted by Hot pocket | September 26, 2008 8:18 AM


If it's checkers, we're all doomed because nobody is better at checkers than really, really old men.

Posted by Banna | September 26, 2008 8:23 AM

No, it's Clue!

John McCain was found dead. It was Barack. In Mississippi. With the TV Camera!

Posted by Al | September 26, 2008 8:27 AM

If nothing big happens in the market today, I think this analysis is spot on. But, if the market drops significantly, McCain might not look quite so bad staying in Washington...

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 26, 2008 8:32 AM

Hmmm, well my comment is moot anyways. Look like the debates are on!

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 26, 2008 8:32 AM

And the obvious punch line to this divinely mutating thread is:

"You won't have McCain to kick around anymore."

Posted by Jeff Stevens | September 26, 2008 8:34 AM

McCain will debate.

Posted by This just in... | September 26, 2008 8:35 AM

Sen. McCain has graciously decided to show up at the debate tonight. I guess he single-handedly solved that whole "financial crisis" thingy.

Posted by LDP in Cincinnati | September 26, 2008 8:37 AM

McCain can't stick with anything;

Wives, Campaigns, Economies.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 26, 2008 9:07 AM

Boehner. heeheeheehee!

Posted by Mike in MO | September 26, 2008 9:14 AM

I bet McCain will be look pretty weary tonight. Maybe he'll even get testy, like I do when I don't get enough sleep. I need to find someone with a TV so I can watch this tonight.

Posted by beatgrl | September 26, 2008 9:28 AM

apparently reid & pelosi got the pretzeldent to yield, and then gave obama the floor in the big showdown meeting at the WH yesterday, and he led the debate about the boehner-wing proposal, "peppering" paulson with questions. mccain barely said shit while obama looked like he was already the president.

the republicans present were impressed. at the political maneuvering, at least.

Posted by max solomon | September 26, 2008 9:40 AM

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