Kent Conrad was on Fox News Sunday and offered to “split the difference” on the fiscal cliff negotiations:
This in an amazing offer for a Democrat to make. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has already accepted that “a balanced deal,” by his definition, would include a ratio of 1:1 spending cuts to tax increases. Indeed, his second offer included $1 trillion in tax increases in return for $1 trillion in spending cuts ($1.3 trillion if you count interest). By averaging Boehner’s second offer with Obama’s third offer — that is to say, by starting from a baseline that includes more rounds of Democratic concessions than Republican concessions — Conrad is proposing a more lopsided deal than Boehner is currently asking for.
Just keep this in mind when you’re wondering why Obama’s negotiating strategies seemed weak a lot of the time during his first term. As chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Conrad is one of the most important players in budget negotiations, and here he is offering to give away the farm.