Whether it's a game of cards, politics, or life itself, you always to have the play the hand you are dealt. Senator Mitch McConnell played his cards well, accordingly to Byron York:
"Some commentators have accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of caving to Democratic pressure by agreeing to hold the vote on final passage of the national health care bill on Christmas Eve morning as opposed to the originally-planned 7 p.m. "Mitch McConnell Surrenders," reads one blog headline "McConnell Weasels Out," reads another.
But according to a well placed GOP Senate source, it was Majority Leader Harry Reid who approached McConnell in hopes of holding the vote earlier, and McConnell, who was prepared to go ahead with the evening vote, got some key concessions from Reid in return for agreeing to move the vote up a few hours.
There's no doubt that McConnell, with just 40 Republican votes, holds the weak hand in negotiating with Reid.
But according to the source, in exchange for agreeing to hold the vote on Christmas Eve morning instead of evening, McConnell got Reid to agree to hold a high-profile debt-limit vote next month -- just before the president's State of the Union address -- instead of burying the issue later, as Democrats had wanted. In addition, McConnell got Reid to agree to showcase a number of deficit-related Republican amendments, forcing Democrats to vote on issues they had hoped to avoid." [Links removed by me].
Well played, Senator. Thanks for hanging in there. Reinforcements are on the way (we hope!)