A blow-by-blow account of a political negotiation gone wrong. President Obama and Republican House speaker John Boehner came close to a deal last July that would cut federal spending and bring in billions in new revenue. But a series of missteps led to its demise:
"From Boehner’s perspective, it’s not hard to see why he came away feeling Obama betrayed him. 'He had to have known that this was going to set my hair on fire,' Boehner told me when we sat together in his office on the first day of March. He was seated in a leather chair by a marble fireplace, his cigarette smoldering in an ashtray at his side. Three aides sat nearby.
"'You have to understand,' he went on, 'there were hours and hours of conversation, and he would tell me more about my political situation than I ever would think about it, all right? So when you come in and all of a sudden you want $400 billion more — he had to have known!' Boehner shook his head, as if he was still puzzled by it all."
PUBLISHED: March 28, 2012
LENGTH: 40 minutes (10023 words)
Longtime Republicans have been satisfied enough to have their candidates run down activist government as a campaign tactic, even as they themselves retained a more nuanced view of the federal government’s role (which is why a Republican Congress, working with a Republican president, managed to pass a Medicaidprescription-drug bill in 2003). But when you talk to them now, these same Republicans seem positively baffled that anyone could have actually internalized, so literally, all the scorching resentment for government that has come to define the modern conservative campaign.
PUBLISHED: Oct. 12, 2011
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7303 words)
PUBLISHED: Sept. 23, 2010
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4801 words)
“The fact is,” Nancy Pelosi said, addressing herself to David Axelrod, “that the longer you say Washington is broken, and you’ve been saying that for 18 months, the more that becomes the story.”
PUBLISHED: June 8, 2010
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8078 words)
Sometime in the next few weeks, Congress and the White House will descend into the labyrinthine politics of comprehensive health care reform. For Barack Obama, this signals the end, in a sense, of the eventful prologue to his presidency.
PUBLISHED: June 2, 2009
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8208 words)