Barack Obama, campaigning near Denver, was all set to hail a bipartisan agreement on a bailout bill. He was to say, according to prepared remarks, "And today, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have agreed on an emergency rescue plan that is our best and only way to prevent an economic catastrophe."
Not so fast.
Obama was instead forced to acknowledge the impasse on Capitol Hill. But he said was he was "confident" that there would be a deal palatable to Congress, and he urged the markets and American voters to "stay calm." This was, he said, par for the course.
"Things are never smooth in Congress," Obama said. "Understand that it will get done, that we are going to make sure that an emergency package is put together, because it is required for us to stabilize the market."
He continued, "It's sort of like flying into Denver. You know you're going to land, but it's not always fun going over those mountains."
It's unclear how Americans will take Obama's assurances, but the market doesn't seem terribly assuaged. As of this writing, the Dow is down more than 700 points.
UPDATE: So let's get this straight. John McCain's campaign goes on TV to crow about how he helped lawmakers reach an agreement. McCain himself today in Ohio touts his own hands-on leadership in trying to solve the Wall Street mess. And yet his campaign is trying to slam Obama for being out of touch, because Obama's prepared remarks in Colorado today assumed the bailout would pass?
“When Barack Obama released remarks today that praised the passage of America’s economic rescue plan, just before his allies in Congress voted to kill it, it revealed just how out of touch Barack Obama has been during this crisis," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.
It's unclear what "allies" McCain's camp is referring to. The plan was originally crafted by the Republican administration, and House Republicans voted against it by a two-to-one margin.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.