( Harry Hamburg / AP )

The debt deal is yet another reason why you should always pay attention to Mitch McConnell — even when he doesn’t appear to be doing anything. Here’s Politico’s ‘Huddle’ summing up his mastery of this negotiation:

The Senate minority leader, always as cool as freezer burn, more or less cut the deal with the vice president, proving again that he’s the most important player in the Capitol. Default, which could have upset his chances of becoming the majority leader in 2013, appears to be off the table. The president will still have to ask for new borrowing authority -- putting the responsibility in his hands -- even if he’s assured of getting it. The deal promises to isolate the troublemakers in McConnell’s caucus, and there’s no visible pain for him. The Kentucky Republican did a good job of making sure shared sacrifice is shared among the other parties at the table.