Paulson kneels before Pelosi, begs for bailout package
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson resorted to literally begging Congressional leaders to approve a $700 billion Wall Street bailout as negotiations over his proposal fell apart Thursday. The New York Times reports Paulson kneeled before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to plea for her support even as he acknowledged that Republican squabbles were torpedoing the bailout's chances.
Thursday, in the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.The rapid unraveling of an agreement over the Wall Street bailout seemed to coincide with Republican presidential candidate John McCain's ostentatious return to the Capitol.
“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”
Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”
"It was the very outcome the White House had said it intended to avoid," the Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote, "with partisan presidential politics appearing to trample what had been exceedingly delicate Congressional negotiations."