Conventional Washington D.C. wisdom says that putting Republicans and Democrats together in a room with the mission to compromise will result in stonewalled disagreement at best, a bloody massacre at worst.
Challenging this dynamic are Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who, according to POLITICO, are an adorable "odd couple" who may hold the key to whether the recently formed debt-reducing "supercommittee" can succeed in actually reducing any debt.POLITICO reports:
. . . for all the pessimism about dealmaking, lawmakers and staff working on the supercommittee express wonderment at how Murray and Hensarling are getting along, saying it makes their chance at getting a deal more likely. But the history of fast friends with admirable compromises that failed to pass congressional muster -- like McCain-Kennedy or Simpson-Bowles -- still lingers in the hive mind of Capitol Hill, making the Murray-Hensarling bond that much more important in the coming weeks.
Essentially, POLITICO cites the amiable chumminess between Hensarling and Murray as evidence of their ability to work together.
This, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt, since the supercommittee's actual work is perhaps the best-kept secret in Washington. So whether the pair's fondness for each other is actually translating into any kind of substantive accomplishment remains to be seen.
Still, considering that Murray's being allowed to participate in the supercommittee was a hotly contested development (because of her role as the chief Dem fund-raiser), the fact that she's being trotted out uncontested as the Democrats' chief deal-maker is itself quite the turn of events.