Of course, part of the way to win in politics (like poker) is to bluff so convincingly that the other guy (or gal) falls for it — even though you really never were willing to go all the way in. So, is Reid bluffing?

No, according to one Reid insider. “In his heart, he’s an institutionalist, but his caucus — and he — have reached a tipping point on executive nominees,” the source explained. “If no deal, he’ll do it.”

The final chance for a deal will come Monday night when the full Senate gathers in the Old Senate Chamber in hopes of hashing one out…

The question for Reid is what happens if an accommodation acceptable to his caucus — which has been agitating for rule changes for the past several years — can’t be reached. Does he go forward? Or does he find a semi-face-saving way to back away from the ledge?