At Politico, John Bresnahan, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju at Jake Sherman have a great story on how the Fiscal Cliff talks started, broke down, revived, and then nearly broke down again.
The basic story is that in the beginning, there was actually hope for a big, clean deal taht wasn’t going to come at the last second.
But The White House didn’t think Boehner controlled his caucus. And The GOP didn’t think that the White House was negotiating in good faith, throwing out unrealistic offers, while doing a lot of negotiation in public, slamming the GOP.
Last Friday, when markets collapsed, and Harry Reid accused John Boehner of running The House like a dictatorship, this happened in the lobby of The White House:
“Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.