MSNBC's Chris Matthews, currently promoting a book on the political relationship between House Speaker Tip O'Neil and President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, has a column in the Washington Post in which he explains how he thinks gridlock in D.C. will be resolved:
Don’t expect either side to give in, or for President Obama or House Speaker John Boehner to say how to break this death grip.
The trick to breaking such deadlocks in the 1980s was for someone other than the leaders to propose a solution. Inevitably, it was a legislator with the experience, the staff and the will to find it. Usually, it was someone on the Senate Finance Committee or the House Ways and Means Committee, where people spend their careers studying such options and searching for coalitions to make them work.
Matthews credits Bob Dole, a former senator from Kansas, and former Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, as the "heroes" of bipartisanship in the 1980s.
"The question in October 2013 is who will be today’s Dole and Rosty?" Matthews writes. "I’m watching the chairmen and members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees. They are the folks with the experience and staff to know where the deals lie."