There is deep skepticism in both parties that Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who will lead the budget negotiations, can bridge the chasm between them.
Back in May, during an earlier attempt at a budget deal—the failure of which ultimately led to the recent shutdown—Murray outlined her thinking for The American Prospect: "The only way we get there is if everyone compromises. I have that capability. The question is whether Paul Ryan does."
Ryan, for his part, essentially told the magazine that a lot of people in his party thought it was a better idea not to talk to Murray, and to instead precipitate a shutdown / debt ceiling crisis to gain more leverage in budget negotiations.
Now that we've all seen how that great idea played out, maybe Ryan will deal differently with Washington's senior Senator. Or maybe not.