bailout politics: national and local
Whatever their motives and thoughts on the topic, I think we're likely to look back at Election 2008 and say that votes for the bailout by McCain and against the bailout by Baron Hill were the key moments in their respective races.
McCain can still win, but he loses much of his "maverick" luster and most of his claim to the title of "fiscal conservative" with his support of the bailout. And since then, it's been more of the same-- as he looks to extend the bailout to others, in a move somewhere between desperate pandering and economic confusion.
Hill can still lose, but he thankfully exhibited his modest form of fiscal conservatism with his vote against the Bush/Paulson/Congressional bailout. It makes it more difficult for me and Sodrel to mess with him (and maybe that's why he did it), but he made the right vote on the biggest issue of this Congress.