He had that role before. In the days of the Gingrich revolution, Boehner was the Chairman of the Republican Conference and Barry was the executive director of the Conference. He managed the meetings; made sure the talking points got distributed; arranged for the laminated pocket cards to be produced so that when GOP Members went home, they could refer to them just before walking into a town hall meeting.
If you don't think that's important, think back to the August recess of 2009 when Nancy Pelosi sent her troops home to talk about health care legislation with nothing - no bill, no talking points, no laminated pocket cards.
That level of unpreparedness lit the fire of the Tea Party movement and provided the momentum which led to the GOP victories in 2010.
The media and liberal pundits proclaimed Boehner a captive of those Tea Party freshmen. Boehner is not a flag waving cheerleader. He understands the institution of the Congress and the House in particular. He has been in the leadership and has been back bencher both in the minority and the majority.
Boehner used that experience to understand what he could get in the budget negotiations and he relied on Barry Jackson to help him get it. That included keeping the Republican freshmen in line and out of the limelight, so he wouldn't be seen as having to negotiate with his own Members in public.
At shortly after ten o'clock on Friday night, with the media breathlessly standing by to report on the horrors of a Federal government shutdown, Harry Reid recognized he was playing a weak hand and acceded to what Boehner was willing to give him.
I wasn't on the Hill Friday night, but I'm absolutely certain that at some point before everyone went home for the night a bunch of people gathered around Barry Jackson, shook his hand, and thanked him for having stepped into the eye of the storm, yet again.
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