Some of President Obama’s troubles can be traced to one person:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
He’s consolidated his own power by courting the Republican House tea-party-loving freshmen who swept in last year.
Cantor has an interesting outlook about working in Washington – being liked is not an advantage.
One suspects he thinks it’s much better to be deemed so unreasonable that your opponents ultimately feel no choice but to bend to your will.
That may explain why so many in his own party don’t like him.
Even his supporters say he doesn’t have the social graces and natural confidence of most politicians.
Cantor rarely hangs out with his colleagues, and since he doesn’t golf or fish or have any hobbies, when he does find himself in social situations, he usually talks about work.
We all know how boring it can be to have someone like that at a party.
According to New York magazine, more than once Cantor has asked his aides: Why does the president seem to hate me so much?
Who is this Eric Cantor that’s fast turning into an enemy of President Obama?
Cantor is a Republican from Virginia.
His father owned a real estate company and was the state treasurer for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign.
Cantor got his law degree from William & Mary Law School in 1988 and worked for over a decade with his family’s business doing legal work and real estate development.
He’s a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Republican National Committee.
He’s married with three children.
Some say he’s a jerk.
He’s taken the lead in the debt-limit negotiations as House Majority Leader.
His high stakes political maneuvering will either make him a hero or villan.
In the end – the answer may be both.
There’s no such thing as a secret in Washington.
So you know what happened in today’s deficit meeting was going to leak out.
Here it is:
President Obama basically told the Republicans to “shove it” and walked out.
Well, he was little more polite than that.
He said “see you tomorrow”, then walked out.
The meeting was described as “stormy”.
It comes in a new round of sniping between Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
The two are fast becoming bitter enemies.
Here’s what people in the room say happened:
When Cantor said the two sides were too far apart to get a deal that could pass the House by the Treasury Department’s August 2nd deadline — and that he would consider moving a short-term debt-limit increase alongside smaller spending cuts — Obama began to lecture him.
“Eric, don’t call my bluff,” the president said, warning Cantor that he would take his case “to the American people.”
Well, now what?
With the federal deficit talks broken down like a bad marriage getting worse, everyone is looking to the two people ultimately responsible for resolving the standoff on spending and taxes: President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor caught a lot of people off guard by pulling out of Biden’s group.
They had been meeting since May 5th to try to work out a massive bipartisan deficit reduction package.
Cantor says while Vice-President Joe Biden “deserves a great deal of credit for leading discussions, the group is at an impasse on taxes that only their bosses can sort out. Regardless of the progress made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.”
All of this should be no surprise as some point the thing had to dumped in Obama’s and Boehner’s laps.
No one wants the blame for approving a deal that increases taxes.
House Republicans have stepped it up a notch.
They want to draw President Barack Obama more directly into the deficit-reduction talks with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Cantor is saying this morning he will no longer participate in White House talks until the president has personally resolved the divisive issue of taxes.
All of this comes as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a broadside on the floor entitled “Where’s the President?”
“For weeks lawmakers have worked around the clock to hammer out a plan that would help us to avert a crisis we all know is coming. So it’s worth asking: Where in the world has President Obama been for the last month.”
“What does he propose? What is he willing to do to reduce the debt and avoid the crisis that is building on his watch.”
Cantor has been flip-flopping all week – saying that he wanted greater involvement by the president and then promising he remained committed to the talks led by Vice President Joe Biden.
His decision now, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, caught even some in the GOP leadership by surprise.