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Nathan Gardels Headshot

Where is Obama's Leadership?

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As the markets plummet and the value of my house and investments disappear where is my
candidate? Like everyone else, my anger is mounting with plenty of blame to go around. But where is Obama's leadership?

Fine, he should keep his calm and collected demeanor, but nonethless work furiously to bring the Democratic rebels in Congress in line and pass the compromise rescue plan without the need
for those fringe Republican ideologues. Why doesn't Obama go round up Bill and Hillary -- the other most influential leaders of the Democratic Party -- mobilize his enormous e-network and for good measure bring on board the gurus of high and low finance -- Warren Buffet and Suze Orman -- for a full court press?

Thanks to the hard negotiating of the Democratic Congressional leadership, the Paulson plan has a large investment element where the public gets equity warrants-- the government would be buying assets at rock bottom prices likely to make a profit later. For this reason Suze Orman calls it an "investment plan" not a bailout. Its what Sweden did in their banking and credit crisis just over a decade ago, and the taxpayer has made out fine.

There are many reasons we are where we are -- low interest rates, macroeconomic stability, plenty of global capital sloshing around, the deregulation regime since the Reagan days and, it must be said, the American consumer out of control.

But you can't fix 20 years worth of Wall St. manipulation and consumer indiscipline overnight. And yes the plan is not a panacea and has problems, etc.

Politics is the art of the possible. This deal just voted down is what's possible. The only
possibility now is to revive it with the requisite votes from the Democratic side.

Obama needn't drop his campaign to focus on the crisis. Rescuing the rescue plan ought
to be his campaign. Its leadership the country is looking for. Let's see some.