"President Obama will sign whatever is put on his desk at this point and be damn thankful for it. The guy has been a total flake on this issue from day one. Everyone involved knows it. Everyone."
This past Sunday saw White House Chief of Staff William Daley on Meet the Press working hard to convince the American public that Democrats – not so much the president mind you, but Democrats, were hard at work trying to forge an agreeable compromise solution to the impending debt ceiling crisis now facing the nation. According to earlier reports, it has been Daley who has most actively attempted communications between the Obama White House and both Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress. As President Obama gives petulant and complaining press conferences bemoaning the lack of cooperation on the debt ceiling issue and then walking out of negotiations during meetings with his own party leadership, Bill Daley has been left with the task of actually attempting to lead on the issue, with both Democrats and Republicans indicating increasing frustration at the president’s repeated lack of leadership ability.
During his Meet the Press appearance, Daley indicated the White House was not open to a short term agreement that would combine both raising the debt ceiling with accompanying reductions in government spending. Daley’s position though was quickly dismissed by Republicans, as well as seemingly contradicting a same-day interview given by Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who gave strong hints that a temporary short-term agreement between Democrats and Republicans was not only necessary but likely. Are Daley and Geithner waging a war of internal West Wing agendas? Not quite.
According to a longtime D.C. Insider, both Daley and Geithner know that leadership figures within both political parties have actually already come to general agreement on the debt ceiling issue, with but a handful of secondary specific details now being worked out – and without any input from President Barack Obama who is now being effectively ignored by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. What White House Chief of Staff William Daley is now doing is attempting damage control for Democrats to help ensure the debacle is not overly harmful to the party heading into the 2012 elections. While giving lukewarm support of President Obama on Sunday, Daley was giving far stronger support for the positions of the Democratic Party leaders involved in the negotiations.