Sam Stein: Obama "Keen" On Bipartisan Support For HCR

While today has been an all day Obama love fest for the public option, more reporting is trickling out that this was not the case in last night's meeting with Congressional Dem leaders. Sam Stein reports:

The White House, Democratic sources say, is keen on ensuring there is bipartisan support for the final package -- which would explain its support for the trigger proposal. "He certainly didn't embrace it and he seemed to indicate a preference for continuing to work on a strategy that involved Senator Snowe and a trigger," said a senior Democratic source who was briefed on the meeting. A second aide whose boss was in the room confirmed the general nature of the exchange.

The good news seems to be Harry Reid does not care what Obama prefers cuz Reid prefers to be reelected next year:

The debate may, in the end, be moot. Aides on the Hill and strategists outside of Congress say that Reid sees an opening for getting a public option with a state-exempt clause past a Republican filibuster. The proposal is far more popular than the trigger within the Democratic caucus, these sources stressed. And it would be met with approval among the progressive community, which believes that triggers would result in a public option never coming into existence.

Certainly, if he was so inclined, the President could help Reid in this battle:

Going down this route, however, will still require the recruitment of at least one conservative Democratic hold-out and maybe two. The identity of the hold-out(s) is not known. Nor were names shared by sources. But it's not difficult to compile a list of suspects; namely the group of Democrats who have already expressed skepticism about a public plan.

Already, the lobbying campaign around the opt-out public option is intensifying. Overheard at the America's Health Insurance Plans state conference rally on Friday was a company official discussing the need to work with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) on her position on a government-run plan. "I've put a call into her office," the official said. "We need to chat with her."

Landrieu would certainly buck Harry Reid. But would she buck President Obama? We'll likely never know since Obama won't call her on the carpet.

One thing seems clear to me - Harry Reid will put a public option bill up for a cloture vote. He has to. For his own political survival. What happens then is anybody's guess. But a roll call cloture vote on the issue will be called.

Speaking for me only

< Friday Morning Open Thread | Accountability As Nightmare? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Apparently obamadmin has no clue (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by pluege on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 03:11:33 PM EST
    how stupid and full of cr*p the bipartisanship schtick sounds out here in the hinterland beyond the beltway lobby labyrinth and make believe real American talking head cocktail weeny partygoers.

    The rich folk pretending to represent average schmoe, but really doing nothing more then playing games in bubble with their rich brethren really doesn't work.

    If Reid files for cloture on opt out (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 01:57:07 PM EST
    I believe Obama will suddenly become a champion. He can't have the first cloture vote fail.

    Reid can not afford to NOT (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 01:58:13 PM EST
    have that vote.

    Then it's all between Obama and the conservadems (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 02:04:23 PM EST
    in the Senate. Will he let them sink his Presidency or not?

    Who would ever have thought (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 02:20:33 PM EST
    that the minority conservative Democrats would be able to marginalize the rest of the caucus...and do it with the help of the Democratic president.  Can someone please dispel once and for all the idea that Obama is a "liberal?"  I'm not even sure we could call him "progressive."  He's just Obama.

    Too bad, I guess, that the country - you know, the people - does not support the minority conservative positions.

    At this rate, I'm struggling to understand the advantage of this Democratic so-called majority.

    Seriously, he's all but conceding that Republicans like Snowe have the best ideas on health care reform; that's going to have political repercussions.


    Indeed (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 02:06:20 PM EST
    Bowers thinks Bayh is the most likely (none / 0) (#5)
    by magster on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 02:08:43 PM EST
    to [b]uck the Dem. caucus.

    I had never seen Bayh's filibuster threat quote before, but it is a pretty strong threat:

    "It's not fair to ask people to facilitate the enactment of policies with which we ultimately disagree," said moderate Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "So the closer we get to the end of the process, the more, for me, the process and policy will be one and the same." -- Evan Bayh


    I disagree with Bowers (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 02:11:36 PM EST
    Landrieu and Ben Nelson are the most likely.

    Bayh, at least a small part of him, thinks he might be President some day.


    Landrieu or Lieberman would be my guess (none / 0) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 03:20:58 PM EST
    Nelson has said more than once that he hasn't made any threats to oppose the bill based on the public option. I know he is a pol but that is farther in hinting that he would not filibuster than either Landrieu or Lieberman has done.

    He has no shot at being VP (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 02:11:59 PM EST
    or winning the Democratic nomination if he is single-handedly responsible for sinking the signature Democratic domestic policy item. His ambition makes opposition impossible.

    I worry more about the Conrads and Carpers of the world.


    The only 11 dimensional chess theory (none / 0) (#9)
    by magster on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 02:32:31 PM EST
    Maybe Obama is trying to set up Reid as the hero to save Reid's reelection.

    How (none / 0) (#13)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 05:29:04 PM EST
    many dimensions of chess would that be?

    I've gone beyond (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 03:05:55 PM EST
    my head spinning- now it's exploding.  Stop with the mixed messages, Barack- just stop!  Pick a clear position (preferably, a strong public option) and fight for it!  Forget about The Grand Duchess Olympia.  One Republican does not make for bi-partisanship.

    Reid's election??? (none / 0) (#14)
    by diogenes on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 08:43:52 PM EST
    If Reid is seen to be beholden to liberal Democrats on the public option, how exactly does this help him win conservative votes in Nevada?

    It helps him with progressive voters (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 06:47:30 AM EST
    Base election.

    Bipartisan head fake? (none / 0) (#15)
    by good grief on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 12:45:53 AM EST
    Wonder if "bipartisanship" and Obama's chivalric pursuit of Snowe's Republican vote (about which there is such media mystery) is simply a cover for his protection of the insurance industry by putting off a public option under a trigger (he is now said to favor, perhaps since early on) which we know will probably never get pulled.  "Bipartisanship" -- appealing "across the aisle" with the pretense of gentlemanly embrace and broad-mindedness -- is the ideal head fake to hide his true interest in a corporate agenda and the filling of his campaign coffers. Even if he loses Snowe, he has pursued her and for this he gets credit, or so the strategy is said to go: Per WaPo "The Fix," Chris Cillizza (9-16-09)


    The White House has long believed that the average voter is less concerned about whether large numbers of Republicans support the Administration's priorities than whether the President is making an honest effort to attract GOP support.

    "Honest effort" sounds like a benign motive but I question whether it is the opposite. After all, the direction toward a corporate agenda is to the right, so it's a natural move for Obama, not just in the act of "reaching across" but in being seen that way by the public (as good guy) and by his corporate backers (as their guy).

    Perhaps this why only strategy matters, not policy. What a slick operator.

    (This comment was mistakenly placed on another TL thread tonight. Forgive repeat).