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Obama Hard-Line Debt Stance Rooted in Anger Over '11 Impasse

Shortly before President Barack Obama was re-elected, he confided to John Podesta, an informal adviser, a vow he was making for his second term: He would never again bargain with Republicans to extend the U.S. debt limit.

The precedent, set in the agreement that ended a 2011 budget standoff, “sent a signal that this was fair game to blackmail over whether the country would default,” Podesta, a onetime chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and co-chairman of Obama’s 2008 presidential transition, said in an interview. “He feels like he has to end it and end it forever.”