While the House struggled to reach a compromise, President Obama released his two secret weapons: Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Mitch McConnell. CNN contributors John Avlon and Margaret Hoover discuss their success.
Hoover says, “We found the secret formula, the Biden/McConnell alchemy works, the president and John Boehner can’t get it done together.”
Avlon sees the broader picture of where the process failed. He points the finger at the Republicans in the House of Representatives, saying, “Speaking of losers, the House Republicans’ reputation is the problem child in Washington. It has been solidified by this whole last-minute scramble and that is a serious problem. They’ve always been the least popular cohort in Washington. Never popular to begin with, they’re seen in their own conference as the problem."
Hoover commends their experience and their time spent a different world of politics in Washington. She says, “A lot of people are asking why doesn’t Washington work the way it used to. In a former iteration of Washington, senators, congressmen knew each other personally; they knew how to sit down and negotiate at the bargaining table. In the end, these two men are vestiges of the old Washington and in the end they saved the day.”
As for John Boehner's colorful words for Harry Reid at the White House a few days ago, Avoln sees it as a prediction for the months ahead. He says, “Never forget, politics, in the end of the day, is people in a room, personalities and how they work and sometimes things get ugly. […] But, that bad blood is an indication of why we’re in for a rocky time especially in the next two months, but also the next two years.”
As Congress gets ready to meet at 11AM for final discussions on avoiding the fiscal cliff, Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia has faith in the players involved.
He says, “Any time you’re putting a deal together, it’s always the details that will kill you, and you have to get the details done. There’s a lot of back room operation going right now, making sure all the I’s get doted and T’ get crossed. I’m sure a final deal hasn’t been agreed to, but as long as Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden are talking- remember they’re the two that made it possible to get the last deal done. So, we’ve got our best two negotiators at the table.”