Ruth Marcus writes:
The collapse of the supercommittee is not Obama’s fault. If he had pushed and prodded and cajoled and horse-traded, the result likely would have been the same. Perhaps even worse, in the sense that the partisan digging-in might have been even more entrenched. For all the eleventh-hour, “where-was-Obama?” moaning, the bipartisan congressional directive to the White House as the supercommittee did its work was simple: Back off.
That’s right. The message from both Republican and Democratic members of the group was that presidential involvement could only be counterproductive. The more a particular approach was associated with the president, they argued, the harder it would be for Republicans to embrace it. Anything that looked like an Obama “win” would have been unacceptable to Republicans in an election cycle.