Fifty-Eight Votes


That's what a week of buttonholing, dealing, and pressure wrought in the House. Twenty-six Republicans became supporters, as did 32 Democrats, so a total 73 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of Republicans voted to ram through the new bailout bill. Compare it to the last roll call, and what changed?

Some safe liberals flipped. Barbara Lee (east Bay area of California), Neil Abercrombie (Honolulu), David Wu (Portland and northwest Oregon), are among the very liberal Democrats who will never face a stiff challenge in their districts from the GOP. They all switched to "yes" votes.

The black caucus moved.
Andre Carson (Indianapolis), Emmanuel Cleaver (Kansas City, MO), Elijah Cummings (Baltimore), Donna Edwards (black DC suburbs in Maryland), Al Green (Houston), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Chicago), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Houston), Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (Detroit), Bobby Rush (Chicago), Bobby Scott (Richmond, VA), and Diane Watson (Los Angeles) all went from "no" to "yes." Add in Barbara Lee and you've got 12 Black Caucus members, more than a third of the total Democratic switchover, who did what Barack Obama told them, against sentiment in their districts. If their intent was to make McCain look weak in comparison, I think it worked.

Some Republicans were bought off. Florida's Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was apparently won over with an extended tax deduction for states without an income tax. Other Republicans were won over with a version of the Craig-Wyden earmark for rural schools.