As the government shutdown deadline approaches, President Obama has remained calm and on-message.
Charles Dharapak / AP
House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, Mr. Obama, and Vice President Biden – and members of their respective staffs – had failed to break the budget impasse. The clock was ticking toward a government shutdown, which will begin at 12:01 Saturday morning if no deal is reached.
But even as Obama warned that a shutdown would have “real consequences for real people” – citing an example from the evening news of a man from Kentucky desperate for his tax refund – the president maintained his trademark measured tone. No chest-beating, no dire rhetoric. Classic Obama, yes. But also a recognition that this showdown over funding the federal government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year is merely spring training for the big show ahead: the looming vote in Congress to raise the federal debt limit.