In the aftermath of the budget deal announced Friday night, news accounts started discussing a “warming” of relations between Barack Obama and John Boehner, which some took as an indication of softening on the Speaker’s part. In an interview this morning with Fox News, Boehner threw a little cold water on the warming meme, instead characterizing it as discovering “a process” for engagement. In the end, Obama and Boehner have “giant” ideological differences that nevertheless must be resolved to produce budgets and policy. Interestingly, though, one name gets left out of that discussion of “process”:
The name “Harry Reid” only comes up once in this discussion of process and engagement, and only as a tangent to an anecdote Boehner offers about Joe Biden. At one point on Friday, Biden apparently lost his temper and said that the government shutdown should proceed and let the American people decide where the chips would fall. Boehner, whose father owned a bar, says he’s used to blowhards and knew that Biden was bluffing, but that Reid thought Biden was serious.
In any case, the new path for engagement doesn’t appear to include Reid or the Senate. As I wrote over the weekend, that is one consequence of not providing a budget, and for abdicating leadership to the White House. In the Beltway power triumvirate, Reid has become the modern Marcus Aemillius Lepidus.