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The bailout: We have a deal

Congressional leaders reached a deal on the $700 billion bailout package. The House will vote on the measure today, and the Senate will likely go on Wednesday. Both McCain and Obama suggested that the back the compromise legislation.

The New York Times on the deal: "All sides had to surrender something. The administration had to accept limits on executive pay and tougher oversight; Democrats had to sacrifice a push to allow bankruptcy judges to rewrite mortgages; and Republicans fell short in their effort to require that the federal government insure, rather than buy, the bad debt. Even so, lawmakers on all sides said the bill had been significantly improved from the Bush administration's original proposal."

"The final version of the bill included a deal-sealing plan for eventually recouping losses; if the Treasury program to purchase and resell troubled mortgage-backed securities has lost money after five years, the president must submit a plan to Congress to recover those losses from the financial industry. Presumably that plan would involve new fees or taxes, perhaps on securities transactions."

Politico forecasts today's vote in the House: "House Republicans are at the center of the storm, with conservatives in open rebellion. But Democrats have their own defections, and within hours of the agreement, the leadership was already highlighting the bill's promise to crack down on Wall Street pay, mitigate foreclosures and even allow Congress to cut off funding at $350 billion."

Newsweek's Meachum and Thomas write about how the two candidates reacted last week. "The temperaments of the two candidates both have virtues, both vices. History can belong to the bold—to the Churchills and the Reagans, to men who stand when others sit or surrender, to men who seem to move through the world to a soundtrack of trumpets. But history also belongs to the careful, and to the prudent. Churchill needed FDR's caution and his competing intellectual understanding of the war and of the world that was coming into being; Reagan required George H.W. Bush's grasp of diplomacy and sense of balance to complete the end of the cold war and create a new (and, for Bush 41 and for Clinton, successful) model for American military action in a post-Soviet world."

The New York Times also does the temperament story, saying that both candidates were themselves. "Mr. McCain, who came of age in a chain-of-command culture, showed once again that he believes that individual leaders can play a catalytic role and should use the bully pulpit to push politicians. Mr. Obama, who came of age as a community organizer, showed once again that he believes several minds are better than one, and that, for all of his oratorical skill, he is wary of too much showmanship."

"For Republicans, Mr. McCain's performance proved mixed, however. His quick call to fire the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, then his decision to suspend his campaign and return to Washington even though he lacked an alternative to the bailout, risked making him look impetuous in a moment of crisis… For Democrats, the episode was one more reminder that Mr. Obama was more analyzer-in-chief than firebrand -- though in this case, they gave him high marks for his style. Still, given concerns among Americans about the economy, Mr. Obama risked seeming too cool and slow to exert leadership." 

"This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with. The option of doing nothing is simply not an acceptable option," McCain said. Obama said he was inclined to back it "because I think Main Street is now at stake." 

Neither nominee, per Politico, has committed to come back to DC to actually cast a vote on this plan.