The National Journal's Beth Reinhard has a good look today at the politics behind the cliff votes of two GOP lawmakers currently believed to have their eyes very much on 2016: House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, who voted for the deal, and Sen. Marco Rubio, who voted against it. Here's a snippet:
Ryan, who accepted tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans to avert a potential economic disaster, is betting that the path to power runs through compromise and governing. After anchoring a losing Republican presidential ticket widely perceived as hostile to middle-class concerns, Ryan heeded polls showing the public ready to blame the GOP if the deal fell through. The powerful budget committee chairman, loyal to House Speaker John Boehner, is mostly playing the inside game.
Rubio, who defeated a sitting governor on the back of the tea party movement, is largely playing the outside game. He rarely bucks the GOP’s conservative base—consider his recent votes against an overstuffed Hurricane Sandy aid bill and a United Nations treaty protecting people with disabilities—although an opportunity looms in the anticipated debate over immigration reform. Rubio appears more invested more [sic] in cultivating his national profile than in courting leadership on Capitol Hill.
The Full thing is worth your time. Check it out here.