Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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Will he or won't he?

John McCain is playing an enormously high stakes game of poker with his campaign.

He's essentially betting the ranch that a bailout deal will get done today, and that he can claim some credit -- any credit -- for making that happen.

Yesterday, it looked like a compromise had been reached, but House Republicans balked at the deal, in part because it didn't do enough for main street.  Some are suggesting that McCain is partly to blame because he's riled up the House Republicans with his populist rhetoric about tigther regulations, limits on CEO pay, and homeowner protections.

If a deal doesn't get done today, and he decides not to attend the debate, his campaign will be effectively over. No matter how he tries to spin it, the American public isn't going to buy it.  It will be a collosal blunder, and he'll be toast. 

If a deal does get done today, however, then he can show up to the debate as a conquering hero, and crow about protecting homeowners interests while Obama did debate prep.

It's a risky gambit with huge upside or downside.  And the Democrats in Congress know this; I doubt they'll sign off on a deal prior to the debate and essentially hand McCain the issue.  So McCain will have to decide:  Do I attend the debate with no bailout deal, or skip it altogether? Neither is a good option, but skipping the debate would be a disaster.

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Reader Comments (7)

Now that McCain himself decided to inject politics into this financial mess, the Democrats will see to it that nothing gets done before the debate. They know what McCain is up to here, and will not give him the chance to show he came in to save the day...no way that is going to happen. I can't see how this gamble pays off for him. Too many factors are out of his hands, the biggest of which is that the house/senate majority won't let him look like some sort of savior.

On a side note, if you close your eyes and listen to Pfailin talk, does she not sound exactly like Frances Mcdermid in the move Fargo.

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

From reports I've seen, also heard McCain was a bump on a log at yesterday's White House discussions - and "deferred to colleagues." Now that's solid Presidential leadership material.

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen

McCain doesn't know that much about what they're talking about. But he does know a political opportunity.

What is "insurance"? What is this "private market"? No one knows exactly what that means in this context. Banks don't have the money to pay for the insurance. Is the insurance some kind of loan? Or is "insurance" some kind of keyword? No one knows, and I think that extends to the House GOP.

There won't be a deal until Sunday night, before the Asian markets open. Politics aside, I really hope that the House deal, whatever it actually is, can be easily assimilated with what the Senate and Administration want to do.

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

I fail to see how McCain's suspension of his campaign to focus on this issue is wholly disingenuous. If ever a market correction qualified as a crisis, this is it. Whether or not a deal is reached today, this weekend or never, I commend McCain for temporarily giving it a higher priority than campaigning.

And Obama . . . does he even have any understanding of or experience in what's at stake in passing crucial legislation during a time of crisis, in his brief congressional career?

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Joseph, lay off the crack pipe. This was the biggest political stunt of the campaign. His supposed "suspending" his campaign never happened...he was still running ads, his national offices were still working. The whole thing backfired on him, it was a hail mary pass that fell woefully incomplete. Further, his own party thought he was a distraction. His campaign is falling faster than the NY Mets playoff hopes. He needs to sell one of his 16 houses and nine cars...that liquidity will help some of the banks where he keeps his stash. He is an utter baffoon.

McCain and Pfailin are a joke at this point.

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

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