Two hours later when the voting started a large number of Republican House members gambled by voting no in hopes of sticking the passage of the unpopular bailout plan solely on George Bush and the Democrats. Republican members of Congress who had said earlier that they would support the bailout inexplicably voted against the bill when it came up for the vote. The Democrats had apparently anticipated this ploy of partisan politics by the Republicans and refused to be cornered into passing a bill without bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats. The net effect of the gamble was that the bailout was voted down, Wall Street crumbled, millions of retirees saw their retirement accounts dwindle even further, John McCain was undercut by his own party, and it was clear that the party loyalty and discipline that has been shown for so many years by the Republicans had completely eroded away.
Last week when McCain had announced he was suspending his campaign for the good of the country and was flying back to Washington D.C. to provide much needed leadership on Wall Street bailout package, presidential politics was officially injected into the bailout package debate. Many leaders in both parties quietly decried the injection of presidential politics saying it would only serve as a distraction and would not be helpful in the long run. It turns out they were right and now McCain has found himself in a political dead-end with little hope of saving face.
Because the economy has never been McCain's strong suit as he fully admits, last week's announcement of the temporary suspension of his campaign was the political equivalent of a Hail Mary pass. The pass has now sailed wildly over McCain's head and McCain's much needed touchdown was not scored. The dramatic downturn in the economy has subsequently created a dramatic downturn in McCain's polling numbers, especially with older voters. With another $1.2 trillion of shareholder wealth lost yesterday, many older Americans are starting to panic as they see their pensions and 401k retirement accounts wiped out. They are turning to democratic hopeful Barack Obama as someone who they see as having a much stronger grasp on both domestic and economic issues.