Updated 1:24 PM EST, Wed December 12, 2018
The dramatic scene that unfolded in the Oval Office Tuesday was a one-act reality play previewing the next two years in Washington. It brought out in public the normally behind-closed-doors interplay between the President of the United States and newly empowered and soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The way math works in Washington, Trump will need Pelosi to pass any piece of legislation between now and Election Day in 2020.
The issue of the day was whether more border security funding would be required to avoid a government shutdown later this month, and whether Trump's border wall would be included in border security funding.
The major takeaways are, first, that Trump said he would happily partially shut down the government over funding for his border wall. And second, if there were any doubt that Pelosi would be speaker, the opposition within her party was crushed by a strong performance literally in the face of the President.
There was so very much going on during the televised portion of the meeting, that it's worth taking a very close look.
First, the staging. Trump and White House aides put Trump and Pence in sturdy high-backed chairs facing directly at the cameras in the Oval Office. Pelosi and Schumer were placed in profile on the sides, on soft couches. That's a bit of a power play.