“It’s not just Wall Street,” said the New York Post in an editorial. President Bush’s warning that “our whole economy is in danger” was just the slap in the face that Congress needed. If Washington doesn’t set aside its differences and pass a responsible version of the $700 billion financial rescue plan, we’re all in trouble.

If only Bush had something to offer beyond "fear itself," said The New York Times. His words would carry more weight if he spoke hard truths about how a "shocking" lack of oversight contributed to the meltdown, or the fact that the nation can’t afford more tax cuts for the wealthy. Instead, his televised speech on the crisis was “just another reminder of something that has been worrying us throughout this crisis: the absence of any real national leadership.”

There’s a good reason why Bush has taken a back seat in this crisis, said David Broder in The Washington Post. His second term in office has “so depleted Bush’s personal credibility that he is crippled as a national leader.” Besides, the point men on the financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, are the ones with the expertise.