May 12th, 2011
07:47 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He gave it a "two thumbs up." No that's not the latest take on the newest summer movie release. This is Washington, a land where reporters try to read the tea leaves and politicians try their darndest to prevent us from doing so. The reviewer in question is Rep. James Clyburn (D) SC and one member of a bi-partisan congressional group lead by Vice President Joe Biden tasked with somehow hammering out a compromise that would allow Congress to vote to raise this nation's borrowing limit. The deadline: this summer or the United States could default on some of its loans.
Republicans Rep. Eric Cantor (R) VA and Sen. Jon Kyl (R) AZ left smiling. They answered no questions but they waved. Hmmm.
But it was Vice President Joe Biden, never one to shy away from a microphone, who came over to reporters to dissect the two hour meeting. "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to," he said solemnly adding, "[W]hat we agreed to is tentative." He did repeat the mantra of the Democrats, "[E]verything is on the table." But he also gave a glimpse inside the negotiations including that yes tax revenues, the bane of Republicans and long-term Medicare costs, something Democrats dismiss are all being discussed.
The bottom line from the vice president: "It is premature to be optimistic but I am clearly not pessimistic." Oh and no more meetings until the week after next since the House is on break next week back in their home districts.