So badly that he still claims to be willing to veto any debt bill which does not extend the debt limit beyond the 2012 elections:

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is working on a plan to raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion, coupled with an equal reduction in projected future spending. In a concession to Republicans, he said that plan would not include tax increases, but that the new debt level would last through the 2012 elections.

That date has become a critical marker for Democrats — so much so that President Obama’s advisers said he would veto any bill that doesn’t last that long.

“It must be extended in a way that gives certainty to economy through ‘13 and not some short-term gimmick, where we’re right back in this fix in six or eight months,” White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program Sunday.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin reports:

A Republican aide e-mails me: “The Speaker, Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell all agreed on the general framework of a two-part plan. A short-term increase (with cuts greater than the increase), combined with a committee to find long-term savings before the rest of the increase would be considered. Sen. Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House and the President said no.”

He’s boxed himself into a corner. Either he is the person standing in the way of a debt ceiling hike for political reasons, or he has to deal with the issue for the next year when he would rather be talking about other issues.

That’s what happens when you don’t get ahead of issues, make a social agenda a top priority, and take categorical positions which cannot be sustained.


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