The Note: Now Batting, No. 44

Even the vice president couldn't get it done: "Cheney's inability to turn around members of his own party said plenty about how congressional Republicans view the Bush White House these days -- but maybe even more about their discomfort with a bailout plan many of them see as an attack on their free market principles," Politico's Patrick O'Connor reports.

Where's the juice? "In talking to their respective caucuses in the days since, party leaders have underlined the gravity of the problem. But having heard doom and gloom from the Bush administration to justify everything from the Iraq war to the Patriot Act, rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats remain very skeptical about the rescue plan. In many legislators' minds, President Bush has cried wolf one too many times," reports Time's Jay Newton-Small.

And Democrats won't let the Bush proposal be portrayed as theirs: "[House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi (D-Calif.) has effectively sent the message that if she is going to jump off a cliff to rescue Wall Street, she wants House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and George W. Bush holding her hands when she leaps," Mike Soraghan and Jared Allen report for The Hill.

On the trail, get ready to downsize: "The crisis in the nation's financial system and the prospect of chronic, large federal budget deficits will probably delay many of their most ambitious proposals," Brian C. Mooney writes in The Boston Globe. "Both Obama and McCain outlined their ambitious agendas in convention acceptance speeches before the enormity of the financial turmoil became clear with the string of bankruptcies, buyouts, and bailouts. But yesterday they and their campaigns insisted that they can carry out their tax and spending proposals."

Watching the attacks: "Hundreds of times in the past three weeks, cable television viewers here [in Michigan] have been the exclusive audience for two of the roughest advertisements of the political season," Jim Rutenberg writes in The New York Times. "One links Senator Barack Obama to the former mayor of Detroit, Kwame M. Kilpatrick, an African-American whose political career unraveled in scandal. The other features Mr. Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A Wright Jr., also black, and his now infamous sermon marked by the words 'God damn America.' "

"The advertisements point up the unusual nature of this year's more potentially pernicious political attacks: They are not coming with the loud, nationally recognized cannon blast of the type launched by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against Senator John Kerry in 2004, but, rather, as more stealthy, narrowly aimed rifle shots from smaller groups armed with incendiary material."

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has his own idea for an Obama attack ad -- something to do with Charles Keating Jr. "If people start throwing dirt and mud -- remember, it comes back and hits you right in the face," Daley said, per the Chicago Tribune's Dan Mihalopoulos. "It would be a great ad. People lost their life savings. Life savings, their own homes, for a guy named Keating out of Arizona."

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