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So after a week of charming and wooing and schmoozing and stroking House and Senate Republicans, Washington gridlock has begun to thaw, GOP obstruction is on the wane, a Grand Bargain is at hand, the sequester is in retreat, presidential Jedi mind tricks have been validated, and best of all, Robert Griffin III is fully healed and will lead D.C.'s heroic football team to Glorious Victory.
Saxby Chambliss appears to be a ripe target for President Barack Obama on the grand bargain: He’s a retiring Republican senator who for years has been eager to cut a large-scale deficit deal.
But will he and other GOP senators buck their party’s leadership in order to strike a deal with the White House?
“It’s not going to happen,” Chambliss told POLITICO. “We’re not going to negotiate; that’s the leaders’ role.”
Republican senator who met with Obama after Republican senator who met with Obama said the same thing: This is Mitch McConnell's baby. And what does McConnell's office have to say for itself?
Don Stewart, McConnell’s spokesman, pointed to a statement the GOP leader recently made in which he insisted he wouldn’t be party to a closed-room negotiation and instead called for regular order, in which congressional committees would vote on legislation before floor debate.
Huh. So GOP senators are saying it's up to leadership, and leadership is saying it's up to GOP senators. Why do I feel like somebody is being given the run around? Oh yeah, it's because that's what they do.