Nobody Really Wants a Shutdown

Boehner, Reed and Obama all pragmatists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2011 10:42 AM CDT
Government Shutdown: John Boehner, Harry Reid, President Obama All Working to Avoid It
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., walk out to speak to reporters after their meeting at the White House, April 6, 2011.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – The federal government sure looks like it’s hurtling toward a shutdown, but there might be three reasons for hope: John Boehner, Harry Reid, and President Obama. All three are considered pragmatists who don’t seem all that interested in a shutdown, Politico observes. “There is nothing in Boehner’s or Obama’s history that suggests this is something that they enjoy,” says James Carville. “Reid enjoys a little tussle, but he’s not a Gingrich.”

Obama isn’t the type to bet on a political payoff as Bill Clinton did. “He deplores this kind of school yard food fight,” said one Democratic strategist. “He would like to get past this.” Boehner, meanwhile, is a classic backroom dealer, and according to one source “wants to get a result,” especially since he fears his caucus will take the blame for a shutdown. And Republicans who’ve worked with Reid say they think he’s negotiating in good faith, too. “Harry is in a box,” says Lindsey Graham. “And one thing about Harry, he can pull a rabbit out of a hat.” (Read more John Boehner stories.)

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