Jonathan Chait

The Debt Negotiations Are Getting Awkward

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This means... something. I just don't know exactly what:

Since pulling the plug on the deal, Boehner has been largely silent in the meetings, leaving House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to present details of the House’s position. On Tuesday, people in both parties said, Obama tried to reestablish Boehner’s primacy.

Cantor, who is advocating a smaller deal, at one point demanded that Obama offer the details of his vision for a “grand bargain.”

“Where’s your paper?” he asked angrily.

Obama snapped back: “Frankly, your speaker has it.  Am I dealing with him, or am I dealing with you?”

You're dealing with Cantor! Does Obama want Boehner to assert himself? Does he want Cantor to officially depose Boehner? Is he genuinely confused about what's going on here?

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