I was talking to my good friend Dave Winston yesterday morning, bitching about the state of the McCain campaign and its mishandling of the economic message over the last week. Winston suggested to me that McCain should stop his campaign, come back to Washington and help forge a deal on the economic bailout.

I thought it was a brilliant idea. And I thought it would never happen.

Well, it was a brilliant idea, and by Jove, McCain did it!

McCain turned a tough situation into his advantage by going on offense and by putting the country first. Obama was flat-footed in his response, unable to change course and unwilling to suspend his campaign.

McCain, frankly, is needed in Washington to help reach such a deal. Obama is an afterthought. McCain can bring Republicans and Democrats together. Obama can bring Democrats and Democrats together, maybe.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidFive takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Major overhauls needed to ensure a violent revolution remains fictional Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he needed McCain to come back to Washington and vote for the recapitalization package. Yesterday, taking orders from the Obama campaign, Reid changed his tune, saying that the Republican nominee should stick to the debate. Reid wants McCain’s vote, just not his input.

Much of the chatter from the media centered on how McCain would distance himself from Bush during this crisis. But McCain and Bush have pushed consistently for reform of the securities markets, especially Freddie and Fannie. Some wondered if Bush’s speech last night would complicate McCain’s efforts to cut his own figure on this crisis.

But Bush made his own good moves. First, he invited McCain and Obama and all the political leaders down to the White House to hammer out a plan that could be acceptable to all. And then he gave a very good speech laying out all the facts in a dispassionate, yet effective way.

I am not a policy expert in the world of financial markets. But I do know, from my conversations with several experts, that effective action is urgent and extraordinarily necessary.

Those moves from both Bush and McCain yesterday make me feel better that we will be getting a package this weekend that will help our nation weather the upcoming financial storm. And it probably will help McCain politically, which is a nice feature.

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