Early in 1973, despite Richard Nixon's landslide re-election just two months earlier, tensions were mounting between the President and the Democratic Congress. In fact, Mr. Nixon chose not to deliver a State of the Union address that year and instead sent a written message to Congress.
Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican, and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, have been to this rodeo before. That’s why they waited one week and one day to drop their post-election bombshell.
Emotion. Fear. Guilt. Racism. These drivers, according to former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, are the four horsemen of a rhetorical apocalypse that stops things from getting done in Washington. “Those are the four things I find in my time here either passed or killed a bill,” Simpson said.
Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor of the "PBS NewsHour." The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," Gwen has covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates.