President Donald Trump gave an Oval Office address and headed to the border. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have been holding regular press conferences to rebut him.
But when the shutdown ends, it will likely be the handiwork of the leader who’s stayed offsides: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Kentucky Republican — who boasted in 2014 that he was “the guy that gets us out of shutdowns” — has a long record of cutting the Gordian knot of legislative gridlock, especially, like now, when it’s a crisis of the GOP’s own making. He’s been conspicuously absent from the impromptu Republican press conferences lambasting Democratic intransigence, preferring to give his thoughts in brief speeches on the Senate floor while he works behind the scenes to find a way out.