The word is that President Obama has handed over the reins of leadership on government funding and the debt limit to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).  Reid is now the official negotiator and the person who will OK a deal (if any negotiations do happen)

Obama (and Biden) have been instrumental in negotiating every financial deal since he became President. Why the change now? The official story is:

Obama alarmed some in the Senate Democratic caucus last week when he convened congressional leaders at the White House to discuss the government shutdown and looming debt-limit debate.

They feared he might take the lead in the talks and make concessions to get past the current fiscal crisis.

“There’s some concern being expressed now that Obama is calling the leaders to the White House that this might be premature,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, a senior Democrat from Iowa. “What’s he going to say? What’s he going to do?

“I hope he just says, ‘Harry’s the leader. We’re following Sen. Reid,’” he added.

Reid praised the president after the Wednesday meeting, reassuring colleagues.

“The president of the United States was very, very strong, strong, strong,” he said.

Democratic aides say Obama has served as a crucial backstop by refusing to negotiate over the debt limit and quickly issuing veto threats against House measures to defund, delay or otherwise erode the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s no question, Reid is now the quarterback,” said a Senate Democratic aide.

Which could be true.  Or here’s another possibility, recent unnecessary closures on top of the revelations such as the people in the White House believe that they are winning the debate so they don’t want a solution are beginning to move the president’s internal polling where he is seen to be a major part of the reason there is no deal.

We do know that overall the President’s approval has taken a dive since the the shutdown began on Oct 1st. Below are the Rasmussen trends for the past week

Throughout the past five plus years, this President has set himself up to take credit for the victories that weren’t his (I killed Bin Laden) and blamed others for the failures that were his (blaming Bush, the GOP, the Tea Party etc.)

The official story published by The Hill may be true, but with his polls sinking this “turnover of power” may be Obama’s way to set up Harry Reid to take the Democratic Party part of the blame if a deal can’t be made.