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Ellison’s Must Read Of The Day

• October 4, 2013 9:10 am

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My must read is "White House's Hard Line on Shutdown, Debt Ceiling Has Risks Attached," from the Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama is sticking to his stance that he won't negotiate with Republicans over the government shutdown or the higher-stakes fight over the federal debt ceiling.

[…]

"There is one way out," he said: Republicans must relent and reopen the government.

White House officials believe they have the upper hand, citing evidence that some Republicans are buckling under public pressure. Mr. Obama invited the four congressional leaders to the Oval Office Wednesday, and despite the show of engagement made no concessions, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The problem with the administration’s strategy is that it depends on a variable. It is difficult to predict public opinion and that is all this strategy rests on. Their assumption is that the public will blame the Republicans, but a recent poll by CBS News shows that blame is placed on both sides.

If polls do not show a dramatic difference in blame now, the public will probably find both Republicans and Democrats somewhat culpable if the standoff continues into debt ceiling talks.

According to the CBS poll, the burden of negotiating does not fall on one party. The public, rightfully, expects it from both, with 76 percent of those surveyed saying the president and the Democrats should compromise with Republicans.

To refuse to negotiate is going against public opinion. The president may not have quite the winning hand he thinks he has.