McCain Returns To Washington To Focus On Bailout

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Aides say Sen. John McCain feels good about his performance in Friday night's debate with his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, but would not try to capitalize on any post-debate momentum.

Instead, the Arizona senator flew straight home to Washington, where he holed up in his suburban condo and campaign headquarters, making phone calls to fellow lawmakers who are trying to negotiate a financial rescue.

According to the campaign, McCain spoke with more than a dozen lawmakers Saturday, as well as President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Republican Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico took a call from McCain. She says he's played a valuable role in the negotiations, raising the profile of House Republicans, whose objections to the original rescue plan were largely ignored. Wilson adds that support from McCain and Obama will make any financial rescue plan easier for other lawmakers to swallow.

But not everyone is so charitable about McCain's dramatic announcement that he would suspend his campaign last week and return to Washington to participate in the rescue talks. Some Democrats said it unnecessarily politicized the process.



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