Just how bad has the bailout plan been for Republicans in the House and Senate? Some senior Senate Republicans aides now believe that it’s not a far out idea that Democrats could gain a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, while Republicans House members who voted for the bailout are seeing their polling numbers drop in the past ten days.
Interestingly, but not coincidentally, those drops mirror similar drops that McCain is taking in those GOP districts, between five and seven points, according to House Republican Conference Committee aides.
Those Republicans who stood against the bailout bill aren’t seeing similar drops. In fact, some House members who remained against the bailout were seeing five to seven point gains in their district polling.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used the IMF meetings in Washington to hold small, private meetings with global bank CEOs and other international finance officials, according to Treasury Department sources. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was not part of those meetings, however. Paulson’s reputation has taken a beating since the initial rollout of the Treasury bailout plan was so poorly received. Reviews the White House has received from those in meetings with Paulson prior to the IMF meetings in Washington were not good, according to a White House source.
“The word that most often popped up about Paulson was ‘haughty,'” says the White House source.
Bernanke, though, wasn’t settling a lot of nerves in his meetings, according to several attendees. On several occasions, Bernanke has referred admiringly to President Franklin Roosevelt’s use of a “bank holiday” to audit banks and build trust in the U.S. banking system.