Senator Ben Nelson was the 60th vote in the Senate on healthcare reform. He held out for what is now called the “Nebraska purchase,” a side-payment from the federal government to Nebraska to extend Medicaid. He also got rid of the public option. He compromised a bit on abortion so he did not get all his cake.There were a whole bunch of people who didn’t like the Nelson language – they only went along with because I could be the 60th vote. Leverage increases, exponentially, like the difference between a number 2 earthquake, 3 earthquake, 4 earthquake – goes up exponentially like that – your leverage goes like that at the very end…..if you are going to match Stupak, you match him at the end when you have the most leverage.
Much more at the link, including the fact that Nelson's strategy contradicts game theory.