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How to Negotiate With a Democratic President, by Newt Gingrich

How to Negotiate With a Democratic President, by Newt Gingrich
Photograph by Nathan Perkel for Bloomberg Businessweek

You have to establish a position of strength. Before Bill Clinton and I negotiated a balanced-budget agreement in 1996, we closed the government twice. By the time we were done with the second shutdown, there was a grudging sense of respect. At the same time, we realized that if you don’t get Clinton’s signature, you’re not getting anything done. We negotiated face to face for 35 days. We learned how to do a dance that involved hitting each other pretty hard but then backing off and finding a way to work together.