Most of the back and forth in fiscal
cliff artifice talking between the White House and Congress has so far been conducted via the media, but as of today the actual sitting down together in rooms to hash stuff out begins.
Instead of the Big Four of Boehner, Pelosi, Reid and McConnell meeting with President Obama at the White House, the President is dispatching his Treasury Secretary and top legislative liaison to the Capitol.
Those two men though won’t sit down in one room with the Congressional leaders—instead they will meet separately with them, in a series of one-on-one meetings..
Not in one room, exchanging ideas, but individually.
The beginning of official talks is, of course, leading to rampant speculation on the shape of those talks. But what is arguably more important than what happens in those rooms right now is the ongoing public negotiating. It’s setting the stage for what will happen when it gets down to President Obama, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, and Pelosi. Making a public case and using the bully pulpit, as Obama is doing on taxes, will help shape how the behind-closed-doors talks proceed.