Democrats in the Senate and House believe that if they can string out negotiations on the federal financial markets bailout through Tuesday, "we can get everything we want and more, including solidifying the Obama campaign," says a Senate Banking Committee staffer working for the majority.
"Let's see what the White House has to say when the market is cratering again."
The aide said that that opinion, while shocking, reflected a belief among many Democrats that Wall Street "isn't our friend, and we really don't gain much from bailing them all out."
On the other hand, senior Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, believe they can still gain all concessions on the bill, plus gain long-term political points this election cycle by "stringing this thing out to Thursday, or just letting the whole deal collapse."
"This is a Bush and McCain problem, not an Obama problem no matter how much they try to pin it on him and us," says a House Democrat leadership aide.
But he disputed that the leadership was trying to tank markets for political gain. "I don't believe it. But I will say this, the Republicans are more than willing to scare the American people about Osama and use the terrorism card against us. So why should we hold off and not use a more immediate national threat to our advantage?"
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