Campaigns Assign Bailout Blame

The Obama and McCain campaigns traded charges on Monday as the House unexpectedly rejected the Bush administration's $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill.

John McCain "was actually out on a double date with his wife," Obama spokesman Bill Burton told MSNBC. "[O]n Saturday night, when negotiators were getting together, he wasn't making phone calls. He wasn't doing the work. He was actually out at one of the finest restaurants in Washington D.C. on a double date with his wife. I think Joe Lieberman was there -- both their wives."

"I understand they had a great meal," Burton continued. "It's a great restaurant. But what we need to do is really put the rubber to the road."

Burton was referring to a Politico report that McCain and his wife, Cindy, dined with Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, at Café Mozu inside Washington's Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The Obama campaign was not alone in pointing fingers.

As the Dow fell 777 points, McCain's top policy adviser hammered Obama for a set of prepared remarks which incorrectly assumed that the bailout would pass.

"Senator Barack Obama today released written remarks that suggested the bill had been passed without obviously doing the due diligence to make sure that it did," said McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin on a conference call with reporters.

In the Westminster, Colo., speech text distributed by Obama's campaign on Monday morning, the Democratic presidential nominee was to say, "And today, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have agreed on an emergency rescue plan."

McCain himself joined in the finger pointing, accusing Obama and his congressional allies of infusing "unnecessary partisanship into the process."

So where does Congress go from here?

Per ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, congressional leaders are considering three or four possible solutions:

# 1 -- Muscle Bailout Bill Through House: Some leaders suggest some House GOPers will be persuaded to support the bailout if the market continues to drop.

#2 -- Pass Bailout in Senate First: Since there appears to be broader support in the Senate for the bailout package, one option would be for the Senate to vote first in order to increase pressure on the House.

#3 -- Make Small Tweaks to the Bill: Congressional leaders wonder if perhaps there are a couple of small tweaks they can make to the package that would bring along the 12 votes they lost the vote by. Option A, sources say, would be for FDIC to guarantee all deposits in transaction accounts, not just up to $100,000. That would deal with the credit crunch and it would be quite popular, some on Capitol Hill argue. Option B would be eliminating the mark-to-market rule (the accounting practice of valuing a financial position in an investment at its current market price) in the hopes of stopping the downward spiral in asset values.

#4 -- Get More Democrats On Board: Finally, one other unlikely option talked about on Capitol Hill is to try to pass the bill almost entirely with the Democratic majority in the House. That would require adding a major stimulus package favored by Democrats, infrastructure spending, unemployment insurance spending, and heating and food stamp assistance for low-income Americans.

The Kicker:
"This is all about gotcha journalism. A lot of it is. But that's okay, too."
--Sarah Palin to CBS' Katie Couric when asked about criticism she has received for sounding like Obama when discussing Pakistan at a Philadelphia pizza parlor

On the campaign front. . .

-- 11:00 am ET – Holds roundtable discussion in Des Moines, IA

-- No Public Events - In Arizona preparing for debate Thursday.

-- 11:00 am ET (Doors) – Holds Rally in Reno, NV.

-- No Public Events - In Delaware preparing for debate Thursday.

At the White House. . .

-- 7:45 am ET: Delivers a statement on the Economic Rescue Plan

Elsewhere . . .

--10:00 am ET: Delivers remarks on "The Financial and Political Mess, Where Do We Go From Here?" Washington, D.C.


ABC News' Mark Mooney: On the Brink: Dow Plunges on Fears House Will Not Pass Bailout LINK

ABC News' John Berman and Ron Claiborne: Obama: 'Stay Calm' on Bailout Failure; McCain Camp Blames Obama LINK

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: Palin Can't Afford a Debate Mistake LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Democrats on Hill Worried About Biden at Debate LINK

ABC News' John Berman, Sunlen Miller and Ursula Fahy: Obama's Casino Royale LINK

ABC News' John Berman, Sunlen Miller and Ursula Fahy: Obama: 'Stay Calm' on Bailout Failure; McCain Had Claimed Credit for Deal LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis: Gingrich Switches Bailout Stance LINK

ABC News' Ron Claiborne: Palin Says She's Ready To Rumble LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis and Rigel Anderson: Florida Congressman Regrets Swipe at 'Gun Toting' Palin LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: In My Inbox Just Minutes After the Bailout Bill Went Down LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: McCain, Palin & Energy Flubs LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Attacking Obama's Missouri 'Truth Squad' LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Conservatives Embarrassed About Palin (No. 3 in a Series) LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Hillary 2012 Watch LINK

ABC News' Sebastian Kitchen: Rivals in Alabama Race Both Claim Conservative Tag LINK


High Stakes on Capitol Hill
Biden and Palin begin debate preps as economy is on the brink of disaster. LINK

Pelosi: Dems Delivered, GOP Fell Short
House Speaker Pelosi says Congress must work "in a bipartisan way" to pass bill. LINK

House Republicans Blame Pelosi
Reps. Boehner, Cantor say the House speaker is to blame for failed bailout vote. LINK

McCain Boasts About Work on Bailout
McCain knocks Obama for sitting "on the sidelines" while country in crisis. LINK

Bailout Bill Fails in House
Financial rescue plan is defeated and causes Dow to plunge. LINK

Palin Ready to Rumble
GOP VP nominee tells Ohio crowd: "I'll do my part in St. Louis this week." LINK

Boehner Emotional Over 'Mud Sandwich'
Minority Leader encourages colleagues to vote for bill despite not liking it. LINK

Hasselbeck: Obama Plays Paddycake
"View" co-host criticizes the senator's performance at Friday's debate. LINK

'View': Palin Makes Us Laugh
The ladies discuss how the governor's words are turned into comedic material. LINK

Congress Poised to Pass Bailout Bill
A look at the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. LINK

Will Congress Approve the Bill?
Chris Dodd discusses the economy and the bill being pushed through Congress. LINK

Palin's Power Faltering
Some conservatives are calling for the vice presidential pick to step down. LINK

The Bottom Line on the VP Debate
George Stephanopoulos discusses the debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. LINK

McCain: Move Forward on Bailout
GOP candidate discusses economy with George Stephanopoulos. LINK

Roundtable: What's Next for Economy
With George Will, Newt Gingrich, Steven Pearlstein and Robert Reich. LINK

The Green Room: The Great Risk
With George Will, Newt Gingrich, Steven Pearlstein and Robert Reich. LINK

50-States Tour Hits Idaho
In Idaho, race for a Senate seat gets personal. LINK

How Did the Candidates Fare?
Political contributor Matthew Dowd weighs in on the candidates first debate. LINK

A Done Deal?
After weekend of bickering and bargaining, bailout plan on way to vote. LINK

Will the Bailout Bust?
A close look at the bailout and whether or not it will succeed. LINK

Palin Candidacy Provokes Debate
A faith-based debate about gender roles is taking place in Kentucky. LINK