Thursday, September 25, 2008

Campaign maneuvering 101: beware of the "we're close to a deal" talk

Democrats are trumpeting that a deal on the economic bailout plan is almost done:

"Lawmakers indicated Thursday that they were close to hashing out an agreement on a proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial system, hours before a meeting at the White House to complete the deal. After Congressional staff members worked through the night to hammer out the details of the remarkable rescue effort, Senate and House negotiators gathered for a meeting in the Capitol on Thursday morning, hoping to resolve any final disagreements ahead of the White House gathering. The Democrats had all but eliminated their differences, and both sides were hoping for a bipartisan consensus to emerge at midday, with the final imprimatur to come at the late afternoon meeting with President Bush, the Congressional leadership and the two presidential candidates."

But beware. Note the words above--"Democrats had all but eliminated their differences." Well, sure--but have they got Republicans on board with their bill? I doubt it. Indeed, if you go here,
you see that leading House Republicans, such as Deborah Pryce, still have serious doubts.

Look, Democrats want to put forward the notion that a deal is almost done.
That way, they can claim that it got done--without John McCain's help, and that there was no reason for him to come back to Washington, suspend his campaign, etc.
McCain, of course, has a different view of things. We'll see which side prevails here; but I don't think this deal is done yet, by a long shot.

UPDATE: here's more evidence for my point:

"From John Boehner on Chairmen Frank and Dodd announcing a “deal” on the rescue package, “As I told our Conference this morning, there is no bipartisan deal at this time. There may be a deal among some Democrats, but House Republicans are not a part of it.”