Chris Matthews points to John McCain's failure to provide the leadership that he promised -- and took credit for:
McCain said he was going to lead the Republican charge, he was going to make sure that this was a bipartisan success...he called charge, and the Republican retreated. That's what happened here.
Here's what McCain staff and surrogates were saying before the vote:
"This bill would not have been agreed to had it not been for John McCain... This is a bipartisan accomplishment, a bipartisan success. And if people want to get something done in Washington, they just watch John McCain. He's been the guy whose name is at the top of major pieces of legislation for a long time."
-- Mitt Romney, NBC's Today show, 9/29/08
"What Senator McCain was able to do was to help bring all of the parties to the table, including the House Republicans, whose votes were needed to pass this"
-- Steve Schmidt, NBC's Meet the Press, 9/28/08
"We're optimistic that Senator McCain will bring House Republicans on board without driving other parties away, resulting in a successful deal for the American taxpayer."
-- McCain spokeswoman Kimmie Lipscomb, 9/26/08