Joe Klein, writing for the Times Swampland blog, records his impressions of how John McCain and Barack Obama performed on the Wall Street bailout bill issue.

“Clearly, [McCain] was in a more difficult position than Obama–the populist conservative wing of House Republicans was unwilling to take responsibility for the fruits of the deregulation that they promoted–and that might have required a more aggressive effort to move votes on his part, but the flailing about only confused Republicans (was he for, was he against?) and made matters worse.

“As for Barack Obama, his visceral aversion to showboating did him a service. He laid out four requirements for his support of the bill–requests he had, clearly, coordinated with the Democratic Leadership (and which McCain supported). He made the necessary calls to keep up with the negotiations (as McCain did). He made it clear, without ostentation or fuss, that he supported the compromise. Even today, after the bill failed, Obama warned against panic and advised the Congress to get back to work and, ‘Get it done.'”

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