Obama leading

/ 30 September 2008

No, I don’t mean in the polls (though I hope that stays the case), I mean in the response to the bailout failure. Yesterday, as the bailout failed, here is what Obama said to a rally in Denver:

There are going to be some bumps and trials and tribulations and ups and downs before we get this rescue package done. It’s important for the American public and for the markets to stay calm because things are never smooth in Congress, and to understand that it will get done.

I know a lot of people are nervous. A lot of people in this audience and a lot of people who may be watching today. But now is not the time for fear. Now is not the time for panic.

I’m confident that we are gonna get there, but it’s gong to be a little rocky. 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.

Today we hear Bush:

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on a financial rescue plan that had been negotiated by Congressional leaders of both parties and my administration. Unfortunately, the measure was defeated by a narrow margin. I’m disappointed by the outcome, but I assure our citizens and citizens around the world that this is not the end of the legislative process.

Producing legislation is complicated, and it can be contentious. It matters little what a path a bill takes to become law. What matters is that we get a law. We’re at a critical moment for our economy, and we need legislation that decisively address the troubled assets now clogging the financial system, helps lenders resume the flow of credit to consumers and businesses, and allows the American economy to get moving again.

At least Bush seems to be taking cues from a real leader now.

For the record, I was opposed to the bailout and I am glad it was defeated. I also think we absolutely should do something at the federal level to respond to the failure of our financial institutions to do their job. But that action should be aimed at the root of problems, not structured as a hand-out to the top.

I hope Obama can help lead us there. But I don’t expect that until after we get him elected. This is our election, the change we bring will be our own selves to the process. Obama may turn out to be the leader we need, but we should all be the kind of participants this country demands.

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