The real negotiation here may well have been about things other than the US budget deficit.

Politicians are often involved in “positional” negotiations where the intended target to be influenced is someone other the person across the table. There is another dynamic as well. All negotiators have a personal emotional agenda which has nothing to do with the organisational interests they represent. These personal needs might be to do with e.g. a need for respect or esteem or reassurance.

In the case of the budget deficit the positional requirements of the negotiators and the individual emotional needs of the negotiators involved will all have pointed to an imperative to get the deal done. Nobody involved would have benefited from a shutdown.

Response to Erik Sherman’s Article here (