USING THE BULLY PULPIT…. The White House really wants Congress to pass the $700 billion Paulson bailout plan — you know, without a bunch of pesky questions and or strings attached — and negotiations apparently haven’t produced any meaningful breakthroughs.

So, the president is going to share some words of wisdom with the nation in prime time.

President Bush will address the nation from the White House at 9:01 pm ET Wednesday night in an attempt to unstick bailout talks.

Is that so. Bush will give a speech, which in turn will give lawmakers and the Treasury Department a little executive nudge. That’s the plan.

At the risk of stating the obvious, I don’t think the president realizes the situation he’s in. His approval rating is still ridiculously low. The public holds him and his administration largely responsible for the current crisis. He’s a lame-duck president who no one pays attention to anymore. He’s pushing for a $700 billion bailout package that no serious person anywhere actually likes.

And he’s going to use this power as leverage? What does Bush think this is, 2003?

Atrios responded to the news, saying, “I do hope that the Democrats have finally internalized the idea that he’s been 30% and under the polls for 3 years now.” Quite right.

I’d just add one tangential thought: I wonder how the McCain campaign feels about Bush stepping out to deliver a prime-time speech on economics?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.