At the top of MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Wednesday, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd triumphantly declared: "What a difference a shutdown makes. Picking their poison, Republican leaders retreat on the debt limit, handing President Obama a victory....Are we done with the days of the debt ceiling being wielded as a political weapon?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes later, Todd rhetorically wondered: "Does this mean the budget wars are over, or are we in at least a cease-fire, and who won?" He concluded: "...the President stuck to his guns on this. He stood firm and forced this scenario, making it much more difficult for Republicans to use the debt ceiling as a political weapon."
Todd did argue that "Republicans can also declare victory by pointing out that the budget deficit is falling," but quickly added: "It's not clear if that's a victory they'll be able to declare."
Talking to Republican Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent, Todd asked: "...are the budget wars over? Or are we in a long-term cease-fire? What does this mean, the decision by Republican leadership not to use the debt ceiling anymore as a way to negotiate budget demands?"
Later in the exchange, Todd suggested Congress just give up its power over the debt ceiling all together: "At this point, if clean debt ceiling is now the future, should we even get rid of congressional – I mean, should this be something that Congress has to deal with every year or so? Or should we just get rid of this provision in the law?"
In an interview with Democratic Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen later in the show, Todd stuck with his talking point: "Yesterday's result, do you believe that we have eliminated – that we have sort of neutralized the debt ceiling as a political weapon?"