Debt-limit talks: What Obama, Boehner, and McConnell mean when they call for "leadership."

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
July 13 2011 6:44 PM

Take Me to Your Leader

The debt-limit talks show Washington's rhetoric to be even more empty than usual.

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Boehner's attempt to show leadership—negotiating with Obama—failed, in part, because his caucus wouldn't go along with him. McConnell's attempt to show leadership—not negotiating with Obama—will likely fail for the same reason. House and Senate leaders are captive to the wishes of their most ardent constituents. Is that "leading from behind," as the Obama team calls it, or is that what Republicans derisively label as "followership"? If we only had a leader to tell us.

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