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He did the right thing, and this does leave an opening for a comeback. He was a fantastic majority leader, arguably–as Rich Galen said yesterday I believe–the best ever. He had an uncanny knack for reading the votes and persuading members. This was not a matter of him being “The Hammer,” as the media would have it. As a colleague put it the other day, he was more like “The Concierge,” doing favors, soothing hurts, taking care of his members so they would be there when they were really needed on a key vote. But the scandals had rendered him ineffective, and made him a liability–at least for now.


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