December 14th, 2012
07:52 AM ET
1 year ago

Ex-Senate leaders: Fiscal cliff deal will set tone for Obama's second term

Washington (CNN) – Secret conversations on the balcony. A special phone line for instant and direct communication. These are some of the tools former Democratic leader Tom Daschle and former Republican leader Trent Lott used to forge bipartisan consensus and compromise when they ran the Senate a little more than a decade ago.

In a joint interview in the shadow of the Capitol, Daschle and Lott reminisced about bridging partisan differences to get things done - instructive for today's leaders talking past each other as the fiscal cliff approaches.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Tom Daschle • Trent Lott
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. rplat

    There will be no deal. This country will just live from day-to-day and we can all watch as its foundations crumble beneath us. Resolution requires strong leadership and none exists in this government. Get ready for failure and national demise.

    December 14, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  2. Myron McCullough

    I am writing because, as I watch all of the politicians and experts speak on the fiscal cliff, everyone keeps saying that the american people do not understand and that we just think this is a battle between political foes. Everyone that I speak with has a great understanding on what is actually going on and the impact that it will have on our lives. I am begging you to pass this information on. When I hear Soledad and others on CNN say that we do not understand, I feel insulted. The american people think that it is the republicans that do not understand what is going on and how it will affect the american people.

    December 14, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    They need to keep their opinions to themselves. They're out of touch with the reality of the Tea Party, whose sole purpose is "no compromise". The situation is not the picture that they make it out to be. "If we can could do it, then so can you." Doesn't Trent Lott even realize that he would be thrown out of today's Republican Party for being to soft because of the simple fact that he is WILLING to compromise.

    December 14, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Before the Nanny State people took care of themselves. Now that the Nanny State is in a state of decay maybe people will discover how to tkae care of themselves.

    December 14, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. DENNA

    The Republicans are mad that they still have to deal with President Obama. This coupled with the fact that the president is fighting for the middle class has stiffened the resolve of Boehner and company. Their corporate masters cannot have this. I mean, fighting for the middle class. What's that all about? I think we, the middle class, will just have to get rid of some more GOPers in 2014.

    December 14, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. plain&simple

    Republicans have given power to the primary voters (base) and that has not been good for the nation as a whole. Look at the BIG PICTURE!!! What plays well in some gerrymandered congressional district in Alabama or Minnesota or Idaho can stay there!!!. This doesn't mean the whole country should be held under their thumb!!! Until republicans get a backbone and get control of their insolent wayward children or the people fire them this nation will flounder around in ineptitude!!! The speaker NEEDS to and MUST put his foot down....even if it means not being speaker in the next session!

    December 14, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Ed1

    Congress should give a thumbs down with any deal that costs more than we bring in.

    Obama doesn't know how to cross party lines he is a Dictator period wanting more power to take the control of this Country out of the hands of voters.

    December 14, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Ray E. (Georgia)

    Before the Nanny State people took care of themselves. Now that the Nanny State is in a state of decay maybe people will discover how to tkae care of themselves.
    ----------------------–
    I feel your pain, dude. Red states are the nanny states, Georgia among them. You get up every day and just see all of the slackers, moochers, and lounge artists living off of tax money. But, they are your fellow conservatives, dude. They are living in states run by conservatives, dude. That's life in right wing.

    Meanwhile, in the blue states, like New York. We pay our fair share in taxes, and then some. We support "takers" like Georgia. However, we get up everyday and live the life of Reilly. We luxuriate in gourmet coffee, soap, and cars. Pay our taxes, and your share of them, too.

    December 14, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. Larry in Houston

    ""I feel your pain, dude. Red states are the nanny states, Georgia among them. You get up every day and just see all of the slackers, moochers, and lounge artists living off of tax money. But, they are your fellow conservatives, dude. They are living in states run by conservatives, dude. That's life in right wing""

    Not Everybody that Currently Lives in the Red States are like him – I used to live in a "Blue" State – for 47 years . The republicans down here, typically suppress the Vote, ( in one way / shape, or form) to the point that it's pathetic.

    December 14, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. rs

    The problem is that the GOP (particularly Boehner and McConnell) are "sticking to their principles". i.e. doing nothing, and doing nothing for the vast majority of Americans, and trying to pump up the rich.
    Really, CAN things between Republicans and Democrats actually get worse?
    Maybe it won't matter. As the GOP continues its death spiral (to the right naturally), maybe it won't matter how bad the relationship gets, they'll lose elections until they no longer exist.

    December 14, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. rs

    Hey, Ray E.-

    When was that? 1810 or so? I think even a casual perusal of American History reveals an activist federal government going back to the Louisiana Purchase.

    December 14, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There needs to be a greater level cooperation and drop the partisanship that gets the work of the American people done. I've heard more bashing from the right than from the left.

    December 14, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. rs

    Ray-

    What "conservatives" like you fail to think about is this:
    "Punish the poor" as a policy may make you feel real good. But what will you do with all the people who will literally starve because corporate America won't pay people living wages; the elderly starve; and the sick die? Literally, what is left of America? What will YOU do with those bodies, and ruined lives left behind?
    Worse, maybe that is your vision.

    December 14, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. DENNA

    @Ed1 Congress should give a thumbs down with any deal that costs more than we bring in. Obama doesn't know how to cross party lines he is a Dictator period wanting more power to take the control of this Country out of the hands of voters
    ......................................................................................................................................................................................
    Uh, Ed, the whole reason for raising the tax rate on the rich is to fix the inequities that have cost this country money. We will go a long way toward bringing in more money that way. President Obama has tried to cross over but the Republicans keep slapping his hand. Now that he has been reelected by the people, he has a mandate to insist that the GOP do their jobs and try to fix this problem. The GOP still does not get it. We The People are the boss, not them and we reelected President Obama to get 'er done because we knew that Romney/Ryan could not. So I guess that makes President Obama a duly elected Dictator. So be it.

    December 14, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. rs

    Ed1-

    And that is precisely why the GOP's stupid "Cut taxes and spend" philosophy must die a rapid and hard death. We're in theis problem because these fools keep cutting taxes. Face it, real life in modern times takes money, unless you want to harken back to well-water, dirt roads and early death.

    December 14, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    There will be no deal.

    The second term will be about reining in Obama's excesses, without any cooperation, whatsoever, from him.

    December 14, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Anonymous

    "Both men admit internal party pressures on leaders and rank-and-file members who move toward compromise are much more intense than when they were in charge a decade ago."

    Which makes this entire article redundant. Look, I'm all for compromise. What I (and I imagine millions of others) aren't for is one party dictating who should compromise most. Equally important is when the who's dealing and who's demanding becomes the media story thereby working up the populace for a he said/he said scenario of choosing sides. Dana Bash is very good at dishing it out and extremely poor at actually covering what is being negotiated. Want to know why Americans are so polarized. Look no further than our American media. And their anonymous sources. Judging by the comments, a great many posters fall for this he said/he said time and again.

    December 14, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. rs

    Rick-

    Ummmm, hate to tell you this but deficits are down- more than 30% under Obama- THAT MEANS he's spending less- just like most recent Democratic Presidents left to clean up after Republicans.

    December 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @Rick McDaniel, Ed1, Ray.E(Georgia):

    If there is no deal, the GOP will be blamed ,as, the House voted for the sequestration to take place. Your guys did this to the country. Live with that.

    December 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well,
    I can see some here still need the Nanny State. Sorry but is time for you to leave the Nest. Don't complain about being poor. Abraham Lincoln at one time was poor. God some of you need an Education! Start today. It is not too late!!

    December 14, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. rs

    What will really poison the relationship is the GOP's utterly immoral behavior- these selfish pigs are even resorting to holding up relief for victims of Sandy- thousands and thousands of them held hostage. For what, GOP? More tax cuts for the rich?

    December 14, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Anthony

    Rick McDaniel,
    There will be a deal. The alternative– no deal– is even worse for Republicans. The Bush tax cuts will expire, and Republicans won't be able to explain what happens to the deficit when there are no budget-busting tax cuts.

    December 14, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. Anonymous

    rplat

    "There will be no deal. This country will just live from day-to-day and we can all watch as its foundations crumble beneath us. Resolution requires strong leadership and none exists in this government. Get ready for failure and national demise."

    Get back to us after December 21st and we'll talk crumbling foundations and national demise.

    December 14, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |