Democrats not only got much of what they wanted in Tuesday's deal to move some of President Barack Obama's nominees through the Senate, they also got what they see as an important bonus -- casting Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in an unflattering light.
The unfortunate moment culminated Tuesday morning, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) marched onto the Senate floor not with the leader from Kentucky opposite him to announce a deal to pass the stalled nominees, but with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
McCain was there, according to several sources who spoke about private, behind-the-scenes talks on the condition of anonymity, because he and and several other Republicans grew fed up with their own side's stalling tactics and went around McConnell (R-Ky.) to cut the deal with Reid and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), avoiding a "nuclear option" rules change to pass the nominees.
Reid declined to gloat, but he went out of his way to praise McCain effusively on the Senate floor.
Democratic aides were less circumspect.
"Today was really, really bad for him," said one, revealing that McConnell was cut out of the deal and rebuffed by Reid twice when he tried to personally work his way back in -- including just minutes before the Nevada lawmaker went to the floor with McCain...
So much for McConnell's leadership skills. First he couldn't make good on making Obama a 1-term president, now this.