The government shutdown and threat of default made just about everybody in Washington, D.C., look bad, as evidenced by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showing that 60 percent of Americans would like to fire everyone in Congress, including their own representative. But some came out better than others. Among the “winners,” according to Washington Post political writer Chris Cillizza, were Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. (“a master political tactician”), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (“knows how to close deals”), and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (“the most not-Washington Republican politician with a national profile”). “Losers” included House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (tried to “forge consensus within a conference where that simply is not possible”), and the GOP brand (“congressional Republicans hit new lows in overall approval”). Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, both won (“he is now first among equals when it comes to the anti-Obama in the 2016 field”) and lost (“he hurt his image” everywhere but the GOP base).
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