Machiavellian, Again

10/31/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Most informed people, whether part of the media or just concerned citizens, were surprised when the bailout package failed to pass the U.S. House of Representatives.

While a number of Democrats voted against the proposal, the House Democrats still supplied the number of votes they anticipated needing in order to pass the package. It was a small group of House Republicans who unexpectedly voted against the proposal and left the measure short of the requisite votes needed.

Some of these Republicans used Speaker Pelosi's speech prior to vote as their excuse for voting in the negative. Clearly, there are enough votes to pass this proposal and in all probability, there will be additional Republican votes on the package when it comes up again on Thursday.

Enter Mr. Machiavelli. If I were Karl Rove or a John McCain strategist, I would find any excuse to keep the proposal from passing and send panic throughout the markets. Then, I would have my favorite presidential candidate ride in, dressed like a white knight, and exert influence (supposedly) over the Republican House members needed to put the measure over the top.

Lo and behold, two things are accomplished: We give McCain credit for exercising influence and statesmanship in helping to pass the bailout, and we divert attention from Sarah Palin's performance in Thursday night's Vice Presidential debate.

Am I cynical or Machiavellian? You decide.