What do Hillary Clinton, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz have in common? It's the characteristics they share with "House of Cards" characters.
With the debut of the second season of "House of Cards," the Netflix series that skewers Washington intrigue, #thistown is talking about it along with Washington's real political drama.
After Republican Sen. Ted Cruz forced his Republican colleagues to vote on the debt ceiling this past week, Sen. John McCain of Arizona said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he "respect(s) ... his rights" but said he had "no plan."
Cruz, a thorn in the side of mainstream Republicans and beloved by Democrats because of his watch-out-for-No. 1 mentality that burns his partymates, gained no friends last week with his latest stunt: blocking the debt ceiling bill that most of the rest of his party just wanted to put behind them.
Republican strategist Kevin Madden, also on "State of the Union," said that "a lot of the usual tools that you have at your disposal as majority leader to punish somebody like Cruz is not there because Ted Cruz ... doesn't care about moving up in the Senate."
Texas tea partier wants GOP on Cruz control
"But is (retribution) real - or is it forced? I mean in the - in 'House of Cards,' you do this to the leader or you end up in the river or in the Dumpster," John King, CNN's "Inside Politics," said.
Cruz screwed up McConnell's plan to force the Democrats to pass the measure to lift the tapped debt limit, a ploy to protect Republicans from having to vote for it.
But Cruz blocked McConnell, forcing Republicans to vote for the measure. McConnell, whose political savviness resembles #HOC's top congressman, Frank Underwood, minus the cold-hearted murders, wasn't too happy, to say the least. Washington Post reporter Robert Costa said on "Inside Politics" that McConnell was "furious" at Cruz for forcing a 60-vote threshold to raise the debt ceiling.
McCain told CNN's Candy Crowley he "appreciates" McConnell's vote, despite potential political fallout in his re-election bid and primary race against conservative challenger Matt Bevin.
Madden, the Republican strategist, said McConnell "will take a little bit of a hit" at home in his re-election bid, "but he's still in a much stronger position because we'll have the debt ceiling showdown off the table."
BTW, McConnell said at a political event over the weekend that he voted to lift the debt limit "to protect the country."
Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who is now president of the Heritage Foundation, said conservatives "don't feel we're well represented in Washington."
DeMint was talking about Boehner, too.
But others are praising the House speaker for his play this past week regarding the debt limit.
After battling - and giving in - to the conservative core of his House Republican caucus multiples times, including the time when it led to the 16-day government shutdown, Boehner shocked political observers by voting on a "clean" debt limit bill that doesn't have any quid pro quos attached.
"He had a good week," Democratic strategist Margie Omero said on "State of the Union."
Madden agreed: "He's trying to get his members to fight the smart fight," Madden said, which is not the debt limit but Obamacare. "He's in a much better place" now that the debt limit has been lifted and Republicans don't have to address it again before the 2014 elections.
CNN National Political Reporter Peter Hamby said on "Inside Politics" that "Boehner thinks that what more can he do with this group of people in the House and that's why he just thinks he's done the right thing for the party, averted fiscal disaster and helped the party in the midterm elections. I think talking to people around him and people in leadership, he just can't deal with this small segment of the party."
Hillary Clinton all the time. Yep. That pretty much sums it up.
As newly unearthed documents reveal some of Clinton's thoughts regarding her husband's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the Clinton years are back in the news.