Finding compromise in the new congressional landscape

November 18, 2010

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

Download Story
(Getty/Chip Somodevilla)
President Obama summoned leadership when he took office to confront the burgeoning economic crisis.

If all had gone well, congressional leaders would have been sipping on Slurpees at the White House Thursday. President Obama called a meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders to discuss economic concerns, particularly the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner asked to reschedule. Is the postponed brain freeze a sign of bipartisan bickering to come?

Polarization does seem to be the general mood of late. So, if the summit is an effort to find areas of compromise, could it work? Is there such a thing as middle ground between the two parties in power?

Eight Forty-Eight spoke with Rick Perlstein and Christine Dudley to help explore that terrain. Perlstein's most recent book is "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America", and Dudley is a Republican political strategist.

Music Button: Barrett Martin and the Wayward Shamens, "Garifuma", from the CD Alchemy, (Fast Horse)