The house always wins, gamblers are warned, and the U.S. House made John McCain pay Monday for his politically risky, high-profile involvement in a financial rescue plan that came crashing down, mainly at the hands of his fellow Republicans.
The bill’s defeat can hardly be blamed on the GOP presidential nominee, and it’s possible that a revised measure might succeed. But by his own actions last week, McCain tied himself far more tightly to the failed bill than did his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.
McCain argues that action is better than inaction in times of crises. His efforts, however, were aimed squarely at House Republicans, the group mainly responsible for the bill’s demise, which triggered a record drop of nearly 800 points in the stock market, the most ever for a single day.
If Congress’ impasse leads to a credit crisis, “it’s not going to be good for McCain,” said veteran Republican consultant John Feehery.
Another prominent Republican strategist, who would talk only on background to avoid antagonizing associates, said the vote was trouble for McCain.