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Kristol: McCain's Moment (Updated)

3:37 PM, Sep 29, 2008 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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No one wants to take ownership of the task of rescuing the economy right now. The Bush-Paulson plan has failed. The administration, House Democrats, and House Republicans (above all) have all proved unable to deliver. But there is someone who might be able to save the economy--and incidentally the Republican party: John McCain.

He should come back to D.C. But this time he needs to take charge--either by laying out the outlines of his own plan, or presiding over meetings at which a real plan that can pass is cobbled together. He might also insist on the immediate passage of a couple of provisions (raising or removing FDIC insurance limits, for example) that could mitigate the damage that could be done over the next few days.

It's time for McCain to act decisively, and to lead, as he did with the surge. No one else seems up to it.

UPDATE: The following statement from the McCain campaign is fair enough, as far as it goes. But surely its logic is this: if this is really "a national economic crisis," and others have failed to lead, then McCain should lead-by re-suspending his campaign (fine, let observers mock him when he announces this), and leading his party and the Congress towards a solution. They won't mock if he can pull this off:

All: Please see the following statement by McCain-Palin senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin:

"From the minute John McCain suspended his campaign and arrived in Washington to address this crisis, he was attacked by the Democratic leadership: Senators Obama and Reid, Speaker Pelosi and others. Their partisan attacks were an effort to gain political advantage during a national economic crisis. By doing so, they put at risk the homes, livelihoods and savings of millions of American families.

"Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill.

"Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome.

"This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country." --McCain-Palin senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin

UPDATE II: John McCain is having a "Small Business Roundtable Discussion" in Des Moines, Iowa tomorrow morning. Should be an upbeat discussion!

McCain can explain why his fellow Republicans defeated legislation that McCain had basically endorsed, apparently because Nancy Pelosi was mean to them. Is the McCain campaign sure he wouldn't be better off coming back to D.C. and trying to help solve the problem?