Woodward: Budget deal succeeded because Obama wasn’t involved in it

posted at 10:21 am on December 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

How did Paul Ryan and Patty Murray manage to cobble together a two-year budget agreement that got over 300 voted in the House?  Bob Woodward told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that the formula was obvious — keep the White House, and especially Barack Obama, on the sidelines:

BOB WOODWARD: I think this budget deal worked, quite frankly – let’s go right to the center of this – because Obama was not part of the negotiations. He is not a good negotiator. And I agree with Bill. I think Paul Ryan comes off as somebody who no one, even Bill is not going to say Ryan is a conservative. He is a conservative, but the philosophy that he employed here is very significant: sitting down with the Democrats and saying what is our common ground? What can we agree on?

And it is indeed small, but it’s a step forward. And what it does is it strengthens Ryan, but it also strengthens Boehner in a very, very significant way. He got way over 300 votes for this, and he said I, you know, he castigated the ultra-right-wing and the outsiders. And so I think he’s in a position maybe they can deal on some of these things.

Noel Sheppard asks, “Will others in the media feel comfortable pointing this out?” I don’t think that Obama has much of a reputation as a negotiator even among the media, though, because he’s been clearly uninterested in that role.  He pointedly refused to show any leadership at all in the September showdown that produced the shutdown, probably because he correctly assumed that the GOP would take all the blame for it.  Obama presumably thought the damage would last a lot longer than it did, but the ObamaCare disaster has that in the distant past.

This time, I’d guess that the missing ingredient was Harry Reid, who played a critical role in forcing a showdown in September and October but who seems to have been largely absent in this negotiation, at least publicly.  Reid might want to produce another showdown and distract attention from ObamaCare, but it doesn’t appear he will get his way. If the deal fails in the Senate, blame will fall on the Democrats, who have more than enough votes to pass it alone if needed. That means that Reid will end up being the obstructionist this time around, and he’s smart enough to realize it.

Most of the issues with the deal have already been raised, but I’d just add that the ability to give only a little and put the next round of negotiations past the election is probably — probably — worth the modest trade-offs from a strategic point of view. With the budget done until 2015, the big issue will remain ObamaCare and its disastrous impact on Americans, and the deal deprives Democrats of the last issue big enough to distract from it before the midterms, especially since the next budget cycle would have become acute just as the employer mandates really disrupt the markets.


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This is simply windowdressing to make it look more moderate than it really is.

blammm on December 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Duh. Remove the anti-Midas and things get done. Even if they are garbage sandwiches.

rbj on December 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

If the deal fails in the Senate, blame will fall on the Democrats, who have more than enough votes to pass it alone if needed. That means that Reid will end up being the obstructionist this time around, and he’s smart enough to realize it.

Oh come on! There is no way that the MSM is going to blame this on Harry effing Reid.

Happy Nomad on December 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The “hidden gem” of the Dems not having to vote on a budget again before the elections is a non-issue, as far as I’m concerned. O’Care is going to be be front-and-center through the mid-terms. Risking a shutdown, and taking the public’s eyes off of the ongoing O’Care fiasco, vs. “forcing an uncomfortable vote” on a budget is a no-brainer.

Nobody’s going to give a crap about a budget vote. And taking a shutdown out of Reid’s/Obama’s/Pelosi’s arsenal is a big strategic win.

I’m not keen on this budget. But looking at the big picture over the next 12 months, this was a smart move.

nukemhill on December 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The dems/lsm will make sure it is the senate gops fault not Reid…… guaranteed

cmsinaz on December 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Obama loves being a bully, but now that he’s weakened he just ducks the fight altogether. What a coward.

forest on December 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

O’Care is going to be be front-and-center through the mid-terms.

nukemhill on December 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

You forget about amnesty for the illegals.

Happy Nomad on December 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Obama loves being a bully, but now that he’s weakened he just ducks the fight altogether. What a coward.

forest on December 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Woodward is right. The rat-eared wonder is a lousy negotiator. He had almost reached a grand bargain with Boehner and then got greedy and overplayed his hand.

Happy Nomad on December 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

The only losers in this budget deal are the American people.

celtic warrior on December 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Woodward: Budget deal succeeded because Obama wasn’t involved in it

Subtext: Another Liberal calls the budget deal a “success”.

And here I thought I’ve been voting for ‘The Party of No.’

M240H on December 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM

You forget about amnesty for the illegals.

Happy Nomad on December 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM

The difference is that amnesty is not the law (yet). Zerocare is. Has everybody heard that 70% of California doctors are not going to take Medicaid, Medicare, or any policy under Zerocare? In other words, people will have this nice shiny plastic card and nowhere to use it.

Maybe they’ll be able to rub it on the booboo and it will magically get better.

platypus on December 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Nobody’s going to give a crap about a budget vote. And taking a shutdown out of Reid’s/Obama’s/Pelosi’s arsenal is a big strategic win.

I’m not keen on this budget. But looking at the big picture over the next 12 months, this was a smart move.

nukemhill on December 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Yep. The Dems have no shutdown ammo to hit Republicans with leading up to November, that just got taken away. Now the way is free and clear for them to get hammered on Obama Care without any distractions.

Johnnyreb on December 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

The difference is that amnesty is not the law (yet). Zerocare is.

platypus on December 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Still, a full frontal assault on amnesty is going to “change the subject” away from Obamacare. The only real question is how much the surrender weasels (who support amnesty for the illegals) are going to stick with the lies about there being a path to citizenship for the criminals. I suspect that they are not going to be able to steamroll amnesty through the way Boehner bullied the caucus into supporting this very bad budget deal.

Happy Nomad on December 16, 2013 at 10:47 AM

he castigated the ultra-right-wing and the outsiders.

TP is now ultra right wing and “outsiders; awesome.

See you at the amnesty debate, Insiders, or as I like to call it: Election Day.

Bishop on December 16, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Hopefully the deal will collapse, since it screws our military retirees.

Ward Cleaver on December 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Still, a full frontal assault on amnesty is going to “change the subject” away from Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on December 16, 2013 at 10:47 AM

That’s because people support allowing them to stay.

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Hopefully the deal will collapse, since it screws our military retirees.

Ward Cleaver on December 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

That’s what pisses me off about Paul Ryan. He was asked about the way he screwed over military retirees. He does not give a damn.

Happy Nomad on December 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Hopefully the deal will collapse, since it screws our military retirees.

Ward Cleaver on December 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Trust me. We have known for a long time we were going to take a hit. COLA and TRICARE fees are the two easiest things to ding us with. Most of us will be OK with the decrease in future retired pay. This was already in effect for new people coming in who took the REDUX option.

Johnnyreb on December 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Risking a shutdown, and taking the public’s eyes off of the ongoing O’Care fiasco, vs. “forcing an uncomfortable vote” on a budget is a no-brainer.

nukemhill on December 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

If the Dems want a shutdown, they can always invent some issue and have the media run cover for them, no matter how ridiculous the issue is. The most obvious tack would be the unemployment benefits. The bad stuff in the deal is entirely the fault of the Republicans who want it, and the fear of a “shutdown” is just a feeble talking point.

Doomberg on December 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I repeat:

What economic recovery?
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/11/Dems-Slam-Valerie-Jarrett-Lacks-Any-Knowledge-About-Business

The Obysmal agenda, perpetrated by Jarrett and Emmanuel, took precedence…and continues to do so.

onlineanalyst on December 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Woodward forgets that The One has to sign that budget bill.

And he won’t.

This is, after all, the POTUS who vetoed a bill delaying the corporate mandate on his signature health-care bill; which he had already said he would do.

Why? Because he wanted to do it himself. And thus saw the bill as a challenge to his authority and disloyalty toward him. Never mind that his action was unconstitutional, but the bill as written was not. (Keep in mind that one of the lesser-known provisions of the O-care bill is that no future Congress may repeal, or even amend it- which is itself a violation of Article I, Sections 7 and 8.)

The One will veto this, and then dare his own party’s Congressional delegation to join with the Republicans to revote it and pass it again with a veto-proof majority. Which he is sure they won’t get.

Then he will demand yet another “continuing resolution” instead.

An actual Federal budget would limit his ability to rule by simply pumping money in to whatever he wants to. He will not accept that sort of limitation on his caprices, anymore than he will accept any other.

Woodward does not understand that we are dealing with an egotistical, narcissistic sociopath. He thus assumes that The One will behave rationally.

No sociopath will ever do anything that requires them to submit their Holy Me to anyone or anything else. Even if not doing so would be exactly the wrong thing to do, in a realistic context.

The One is no exception. He does not recognize reality, nor does he admit that it has any power over him.

The only power he recognizes is The One he sees in a mirror.

He has ruled like this for five years. Don’t expect him to begin making sense at this late date, you are bound to be disappointed.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 16, 2013 at 11:06 AM

if I’m thinkin’ it I know I’m not alone…
does anybody else get the feeling we’re being played? Dems have upped spending without debating budgets for the last 5 years. We’ve spent an average of over $1.3 trillion in borrowed money ever since. And the only check, as minor as it was has been removed and codified by the repubs.

That’s not a party I want to belong to and their leadership has spared no effort in telling me I don’t belong.

DanMan on December 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM

The ultimate non-negotiator, Harry Reid, pulled Patty Murray’s strings. This is the same Harry Reid, who hasn’t provided a Senate budget for how many years and refused to address the House’s budgets for the same amount of time.

I repeat:

Pelosi and Reid are nasty political partisans. The following piece shows how Machiavellian Reid is.
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/harry-reid-ralston-machiavelli-with-malaprops-101168.html

And he gets away with it.

Who needs Obysmal? Harry is doing the dirty work. And the Republicans are running scared.

onlineanalyst on December 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

That’s not a party I want to belong to and their leadership has spared no effort in telling me I don’t belong.

DanMan on December 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM

What’s the alternative?

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Dear Bob,

When did bullies every learn to negotiate?

EB

EdmundBurke247 on December 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Considering that many voters did not realize they were supposed to sign up for Obamacare, what do you think their opinion of the government shutdown is?

The truth is that neither party wants to have a so-called shutdown because they both looked bad in that episode. That’s why they agreed not to talk about it before the election.

But if they think that removing a gnat like this will help their chances, they should think again: the country does not want an immigration fix and does not want gun-control. That leaves the economy and Obamacare.

This gives a slight advantage to Republicans, rather than “landslide” and this is only because of their unreliable leadership bench that always flinches in the face of opposition.

virgo on December 16, 2013 at 11:26 AM

No worries. King Barack and Harry Reid will just manufacture a “crisis”.

Something big and shiny to distract the low IQ, low info voters.

GarandFan on December 16, 2013 at 11:37 AM

What’s the alternative?

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Why is it his job to provide an alternative? Why must he meekly assent if he cannot pull a third party, fully formed, from his pocket?

When it comes to the Republicans, we’re not talking about an imperfect party which is doing a good job with the occasional slipup, we’re talking about a phony opposition party which has consented to and occasionally covered up for both lawful damaging acts and outright unlawful, criminal behavior.

Doomberg on December 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM

I think Paul Ryan was overwhelmed by Patti Murry’s charms — Why else would he describe 2.3/4400 as a step in the right direction instead of round-off error ??

KenInIL on December 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM

How about these apples?
http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com/2013/12/whos-next-to-follow-south-carolinas.html

This effort looks excellent in putting a kibbosh to the lawless Obysmal.

onlineanalyst on December 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to shut down the government and discourage a vote for your R Senate candidate in 2014, right? Assuming it works, in 2015 the majority R Congress and Senate will sadly have Obama to deal with for two more years. He can then claim to be a victim and we’ll have to elect Hillary and the D’s to fix it in 2016, unless the R’s cave to the “will of the people” according to the press and pollsters. And it goes on and on.

moo on December 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

What’s the alternative?

kcewa on December 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Accept reality and adapt as best I can. I went with direct donations to individual candidates in 2010 with great success (I thought at the time) and to a lesser extent in 2012. I haven’t checked how the candidates I supported voted on the this budget deal because I don’t think it matters. I don’t think I’ll participate this year. They are on one side, I’m on the other.

DanMan on December 16, 2013 at 12:21 PM

It’s amazing what happens when one side actually accepts the unconditional surrender of the other.

Steve Eggleston on December 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Folks, no deal is sealed until King Obama signs the bill.

I am happy to see that Woodward appears to moving over to the conservative side. I am waiting for him to say that Obama needs to be impeached or that Obama is worse than Nixon ever was.

SC.Charlie on December 16, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Woodward finally crawled out of his hole after his comments about the White House intimidating reporters who don’t fawn over Obama enough. I’m sure Ezra Klein and the rest of his Journofister gang will be along shortly to chase him back into it.

Gator Country on December 16, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Folks, no deal is sealed until King Obama signs the bill.

Even after He signs the bill, King Obama reserves the right to nullify the deal at any time, for whatever reason.

Gator Country on December 16, 2013 at 1:50 PM

No no no, it was Valerie Jarrett who was not involved. Then tell her boy, the prez, “Look honey dis is what you gotta do.”

jake49 on December 16, 2013 at 6:15 PM