The Bailout Arrives

McCain returning to Washington to work on the bailout? Unhelpful — and, in fact, he’s still in New York, at the Clinton Global Initiative, he hasn’t even gotten started on his legislative work yet.

But McCain announcing that he was going to return to

Washington to work on the bailout? Seems to have done the trick:

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 high-stakes meeting at the White House to finalize the deal…

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…

Democrats were hoping to reach a final agreement on the framework of a bill ahead of that meeting, partly to deny any credit to Mr. McCain who took the bold step on Wednesday of suspending his campaign and announcing that he would return to Washington to help secure a deal. Democrats said they did not need his help.

In any case, once the meeting is over, McCain’s work would seem to be done, no?

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