What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.' "

I am talking to Mr. Boehner in his office on the second floor of the Capitol, 72 hours after the historic House vote to take America off the so-called fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts on most Americans, but also to raise taxes on high earners. In the interim, Mr. Boehner had been elected to serve his second term as speaker of the House. Throughout our hourlong conversation, as is his custom, he takes long drags on one cigarette after another.

Mr. Boehner looks battle weary from five weeks of grappling with the White House. He's frustrated that the final deal failed to make progress toward his primary goal of "making a down payment on solving the debt crisis and setting a path to get real entitlement reform." At one point he grimly says: "I need this job like I need a hole in the head."

An interesting story about the fiscal cliff negotiations from Boehner's point of view, including a preview of the coming debt ceiling debate.

This particular quote from Boehner deserves special mention:

Even though a majority of Republicans voted no, and he took flak from conservative groups as a sellout, "in the end, most of our members wanted this to pass, but they didn't want to vote for it."
Sums it up pretty much, in my view. Boehner seems fairly confident about the coming debt ceiling fight, but the same quote will apply then that applied now.