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.”
Without enough support for Speaker of the House John Boehner’s “Plan B” the House Republicans did not even vote on it. Boehner released a statement saying, “The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid to avert the fiscal cliff.” The House then recessed for the holidays. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman- Schultz spoke to Soledad on this morning’s Starting Point.
The Florida Congresswoman responds to the Speaker’s statement, saying, “It’s really challenging to understand why instead of continuing to do the hard work of the last few steps they had to take to get to a deal, that the speaker instead decided to jam us, and put something on the floor that they couldn’t pass out of their own caucus because it is so extreme.”