Will Obama Fight For The Public Option?

The once No Drama Obama team is in tatters. The lack of message discipline is appalling. HuffPo watches Chuck Todd so we do not have to:

The administration told Reid, "You're the vote counter. But don't come crying to us when you need that last vote," according to NBC News' Chuck Todd.

People who did not pay attention during the 2008 primaries may not know that Chuck Todd, one of NBC White House correspondents, was then practically a member of the Obama campaign team. I have no doubt that someone (Rahmbo! (Cough!) Messina! (Cough!)) in the White House said that to Todd. What is interesting to me is do these people REALLY think the President can just sit on the sidelines on this one? And not face a progressive backlash? More . . .

Politically, I can understand why they wanted Reid to take the heat on the killing the public option and insuring a "health care reform" bill passed with triggers. Obama could claim an achievement and let Reid take the blame for losing the public option. But Reid could not afford to do a Dodd and take the hit for Obama (Reid is up for reelection in 2010. So is Dodd, but he took the hit for Obama on AIG reasons only Dodd can explain.) The No Drama Obama team has been obvlivious to this fact. One way to wake them up is to Burn The Trigger Ship.

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    Obama fight? (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by nycstray on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:04:03 AM EST

    Just a minute sweetie - (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:12:58 AM EST
    Pick your progressive backlash. Obama has not minded the backlash from:

    DADT and DOMA
    Wall Street reform/regulation
    Patriot Act
    Transparent government promises

    This is just one more thing. He does not care what progressives think until it hurts. Actually he seems to not care what moderates think. Or even Eisenhower republicans.

    Even you must admit (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:13:50 AM EST
    this has been different.

    It has been different (5.00 / 6) (#20)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:24:50 AM EST
    in that all of us can see how we will bee affected by it. It is not just a backlash from civil rights or peace groups but an effort that crosses all of us. It is also where there has been an effective whip organization (thank you FDL) and ads to pressure Dem pols in their districts.
    But also - much of the pressure has been on Dem reps, not just the WH.

    There's been little pressure on the WH. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:27:49 AM EST
    Time to crank it UP!

    I have to disagree (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:55:37 AM EST
    I think this is the perfect opportunity to let the WH think they are, yet again, getting their way without long-term impact against them.

    The pressure belongs on the people who are facing the loss of their jobs if they don't prove they are working for the people who sent them, pay their hefty salaries and benefits package, and have the power to fire them. This wretched economy doesn't hit them as long as they are in those cushy chairs. Obama can't protect them from the people, and they need to know where their loyalties really belong!

    I'm in agreement with Carolyn. WH has a list of "they'll get over it" decisions, and they seem to think they are still enjoying some political capital. But, this is where it hits home. This, and unemployment, which enjoyed yet another 531,000 jobs lost last month. My state announced last week that 7,000-8,000 people a DAY are falling off this state's unemployment numbers as their benefits expire.

    Obama messes up on HCR, and his lack of attention to employment is going to contribute greatly to how the people view his favorability.


    I would simply point out (none / 0) (#31)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:06:44 PM EST
    that the WH's "way" was triggers.  It seems they did not get their way.  Now, as BTD asks, will the WH fight for PO?

    Absolutely DIFFERENT. (none / 0) (#15)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:15:46 AM EST
    Obama "face a progressive backlash"??? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by JoeCHI on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:14:07 AM EST
    Please!  Are you even serious?  Where have you been?

    OF COURSE they'll give Obama a pass!  And the heavens will open and the angels will sing...

    You're wrong (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:15:53 AM EST
    He has already faced a backlash.

    I want to repeat this wanring again - reasoning of the caliber seen at daily kos and Democratic Underground will not be welcomed in my threads.

    Pro- or anti-  Obama.


    Perhaps you've missed the "Poor Barack! (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by JoeCHI on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:09:35 PM EST
    He has so much on his plate!  Give him time!" tripe from Michael Moore, et al.

    I haven't.


    I've seen it, but have (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by mentaldebris on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:40:32 PM EST
    decided I have no more time to listen to excusemongering.  I think Americans in general are sick of the excusemongering of politicians and their very patient sycophants.  

    Year one of Obama's presidency is fast approaching and the question will be, "Are things better or worse than they were a year ago?"

    For Wall Street it is most definitely better. They are floating on another illusionary bubble and are still left to do what they will so they are happy as greedy, self-satisfied clams.  I think Main Street will have a slightly different opinion as to the improvements in their circumstances over the past year.

    How many millions have lost their jobs? How many millions have lost their homes? How many millions have had their credit card rates doubled or their credit yanked?  How many millions have had their insurance rates increased? How many millions are on the edge of disaster?

    But the bankers and Wall Street? They get bailed out, a little verbal slap on the wrist and are told not to be naughty boys ever again.

    Help for the average American?  It's like trying to get blood from a stone.

    I don't want to hear about what Obama has on his plate--he needs to start chowing down. Now.


    The Obama civil war on Kos (none / 0) (#23)
    by magster on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:28:50 AM EST
    has shown a lot more people losing faith in Obama over the last couple of months.  Aside from the Obamabaggers on Kos, Obama has pretty much lost the blogosphere.  

    Obama may be reelected in 2012, but it won't be the "yes we can" love affair of 2008.


    The results of HCR will determine the results (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:32:48 AM EST
    of 2012.  Obama can't get re-elected with progressives/liberals sitting on their hands.

    I think Obama's fate in 2012 (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:53:10 AM EST
    is linked to Afghanistan &  the bank bailout results every bit as much as health care.

    I agree with a minor quibble. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by cawaltz on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:16:49 PM EST
    I don't know if Obama's aware but health care is going to affect the House and Senators up in 2010  more than him. The economy is going to be his big hurdle to re election IMO. In particular,jobs, and getting things moving again.

    I do think that Afghanistan could be hard for him if it gets bad over there and stays bad economically over here(People would rather use our resources here than over there.)


    In real political terms neither (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:21:34 PM EST
    Afghanistan, nor the bank bail outs touch so many people quite the way the healthcare issue does.

    I believe that this is a much, much more powerful issue in people's everyday lives - the economy is definitely in a shambles - but this healthcare thing has a different quality and more depth in part perhaps because many people are waking up to the fact that it doesn't have to be this way.

    I think that the Obama Administration - with all of its former Clinton staffers - still think that people are still looking at this issue with the same attitude as they had in the early 90s.  The reality is that so much has gone on since then - and so much about the healthcare system has changed for the worse for the large majority of people in this country that people have a much deeper and personal understanding than they did nearly 20 years ago.  When Hillary Clinton was talking about a crisis then, it was mostly an abstraction for most people because the worst of the system had not taken hold the way it has now.  At that time, many people were still on old plans that were working just fine.  In the decades since, the private insurers have so abused their special status that people now have a totally different perspective.  I think that the Obama Administration has blundered this whole thing.  They've handled the entire debate from start to finish remarkably poorly.  It is just stunning to me how out of touch they are.  Really stunning.


    2012? (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:24:03 PM EST
    To quote another politician:

    It's the economy, stupid.

    To avoid any confusion, I'm not implying you are stupid.

    IMO the item that will hurt Obama's chances for reelection the most is the state of the economy. If the U.S. continues to experience a high level of job losses, it could be the deciding factor in 2012. Other items like HCR, Afghanistan, bank bailouts etc. may put a chink in his armor, but high unemployment with no end in sight could be the death blow.  


    Mo Blue (none / 0) (#40)
    by kmblue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:28:06 PM EST
    You and I agree on a lot, but I have to point out that economy = jobs = health insurance for many.
    Or at least for me, and it's all about me. ;)

    Reasonable people can disagree (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:03:23 PM EST
    HCR will not have an immediate effect since it will not begin  implementation until 2013.

    Job loss has an immediate effect not only on those who lose their job but those who fear that they are next. And while jobs often = health care for many, I believe that not having a job or hope for one in the near future (ever tightening job market) will override concerns on health care especially for those who are reasonably young and healthy.


    This bill isn't going to (none / 0) (#82)
    by cawaltz on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:13:46 PM EST
    affect the health coverage of many and those that it does affect likely won't see it before thenext cycle.

    Dale Carnegie for you, too! :) (none / 0) (#44)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:30:25 PM EST
    Seriously, it is, "the economy, stupid".  Nearly 20% of the economy is healthcare.  Baby boomers are retiring.  Dem baby boomers are Clintonites.  That's the math, as I see it.

    Who is (none / 0) (#47)
    by kmblue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:34:45 PM EST
    Dale Carnegie? ;)

    author: (none / 0) (#51)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:41:22 PM EST
    "How to win friends and influence people"

    Maybe. (none / 0) (#29)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:57:20 AM EST
    I think Jane and Chris (FDL and OpenLeft, respectively) would disagree with you.

    to me, it seems like (none / 0) (#83)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 10:03:18 AM EST
    he has faced very little backlash because progressives blame everyone but him. Axelrahm being their favorite whipping boys.
    I remember when, when Rahm was one of the most hated democrats alive in the opinion of the blogger set.  But what happened when he was chosen to be Obama's right hand man (no pun intended)? Crickets.
    I think the president is against the public option because he has been threatened by the insurance companies.  That is just my speculation. I sincerely doubt he is stupid enough to toss it for the sake of Olympia Snow.

    Heaven forbid that Obama (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:25:34 AM EST
    twist the arm of that last vote to get a public option.

    If this is the true stance of the administration, it is IMO an extremely poor political move before an off year election. Kissing Republican a$$ and letting them dictate the terms of legislation is not a good way to fire up your base and get them out in droves to vote in 2010. People approve of politicians who fight even when they are not 100% in agreement on an issue. Capitulation and minority rule is horrible political strategy.

    He'll continue to dodge (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:32:19 AM EST
    The public, not just the progressive community has made their decision. They want the public option. Even in President Snowe's state. I don't think the Democrat's or Obama can ignore that any longer.

    I think Obama will continue to straddle the fence (in public anyway) until the bill signing in the Oval Office. He wants the glory, not the grief!

    If there's any chance of failure he and his staff will do everything within their power to shield him.

    They won't be (none / 0) (#69)
    by mentaldebris on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:54:24 PM EST
    able to cover for him for two reasons.

    First: For better or ill, Chimpy made sure of that.  Say what you want about the idiot, his administration got actively involved and fought for what they wanted. So now the public expects their president to fight for them. If the public thinks Obama is not willing to fight for them, he's going down. No excuses. The buck/PO stops with Obama, thanks in part to, of all people, The Unitary Executive Decider.

    Healthcare is one issue that hits the public directly in the pocketbook. Good luck to any administration official trying to spin it. The no drama shtick is starting to look more like aloofness and that is very bad optics when people's lives and livelihoods are on the line.

    The second reason: I don't know if anyone else has noticed the small seismic shift that has been occurring between the public and the ruling elite (including the media). Most Americans aren't buying the spin anymore. From any of them.

    Remember when McCain "won" the debates?  Instant polling told the media elite they were full of it. This also goes for "the public option is dead", "it must be bipartisan", "the public option is a pet project of the liberals and is not vital", and "we don't have the votes" talking points. The public, via polls, told not only the media to shove it, they also told Obama and his administration to shove it. They want the public option. No excuses.

    Maybe it's the internet and explosion of news sources, or maybe it's the recession.  Whatever it is, the polls indicate a majority of the country are playing on a different field and it's becoming apparent that neither the media, nor the administration has figured that out yet.


    Gee, where were you during (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:38:48 PM EST
    the Clinton presidency?  That same gulf was there then.  The punditocracy was all sure he was a dead duck and the public was going to turn against him any day, and it never happened.  THe more they and the GOP pounded him, the more steadfast his public support was.

    IOW, I'm sorry to say, this is no seismic shift, it's just business as usual.


    Obama is no Clinton (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by star on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 03:09:37 PM EST
    And Obama will never fight for what he wants like clinton. Heck we dont know WHAT OBAMA WANTS..there was no ambiguity with Clinton. Hence the public was solidly with Clinton.

    There's a big difference. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by mentaldebris on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 03:42:09 PM EST
    The Democratic Party didn't have to deal with the demands of the base and the public the way they have to now. Activists across the country can organize a petition, raise thousands to run ads in key states, and champion/donate to someone like Grayson while sitting in their pajamas in their parent's basement. Millions of them. Hell, the activist base could have had Lieberman's scalp if it weren't for CT not having a sore loser law and repubs voting him in.

    Clinton or anyone in his administration could say anything they wanted to and it was not splashed across blogs dissected and spat back at them within the hour. That dissection wasn't picked up by cable or network news. Clinton didn't have to deal with the activists of FDL or the plugged-in to the network work of TPM and other blogs with administration and DC sources providing an insight to the backroom deals; insight that has the ability to  mobilize activist to push back and change strategy when warranted. He didn't have to deal with small d Democratic bloggers like kos and John Aravosis going on cable news channels criticizing his policies and strategies.

    All of this filters down the general public. The White House chiding activists to stop targeting Blue Dogs filters down. The incessant demand for the public option filters down.

    In the past a president publicly tagging a policy point as just some silly little thing those lefty liberals wanted would have been the death of it. Ooo, icky liberals, we don't want that. Obama said that when slightly more than 50% of the country expressed a desire for it after tea party summer. The number went up afterward because the advocates pushed back fiercely. The administration were probably shocked that the PO didn't plunge down to 30% in popularity after he dropped that t*rd.  

    You're right about the pundits back then misreading the country but if you think this playing field is no different and the public are doing what the usually do you aren't paying attention. It's very different. Obama's presidency is the first real test of the new public media and organized online activism. Bush was the warmup. Where it goes from here is anybody's guess, but I love watching the CW wither and die and I suspect the old media will eventually die with it.


    Kindly don't lecture (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 06:51:37 PM EST
    me about "not paying attention."  I've been "paying attention" to this stuff for 50 years now.

    Also, I certainly did not say the playing field was no different.  My point was almost the exact opposite.  Regardless of the "playing field," there is frequently a huge gap between public opinion and the punditocracy.  It doesn't take "new public media" and "organized online activism" for that gap to exist. It's always existed.

    What's really funny is that the vast majority of the public never heard Obama tagging the public option as "some silly little thing those lefty liberals wanted" (possibly because he's never said that).  It's only the punditocracy and the on-line political followers who read the tea leaves to come up with that characterization.

    Far as the vast majority of the public is aware, the public option is "Obama's plan."  They never even figured out he didn't have a plan, never mind that he might be lukewarm about the PO part of it since the vast majority of his public statements on the subject have been supportive of it.

    My goodness.  Talk about living in a bubble, or a village.


    Gyrfalcon & mentaldebris (none / 0) (#80)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 07:25:45 PM EST
    To me, your points have an underlying unity -- I think there comes a point when pols and pundits can spin all they want, but if the spin goes against everyman's gut, the spin is to no avail.  I think the continued popular support of Clinton even after impeachment proceedings were brought, and the current polling on healthcare are both examples of my gut test.  

    were you asleep during the 90s? (none / 0) (#84)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 10:08:01 AM EST
    Clinton had to deal with a hostile press and majority republicans in both houses.
    The internet is not nearly as powerful as the TeeVee.  You are imagining things if you think Obama gives a rats ass what the bloggers think until it comes time to vote.

    he'll fight ... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Illiope on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:35:44 AM EST
    obama will fight... he'll fight for a political victory, no matter what constituents are thrown under the bus in order to get that pyrrhic 'win'.

    a rose garden signing ceremony surrounded by a rovian backdrop of 'healthcare reform' banners is the end goal, not an improvement in america's actual health care crisis.

    this has more to do with partisan politics and campaign cash, imo.

    while, call me crazy, i do believe that obama, deep down in his rahm-free heart, would love to ensure that america's health system covers everyone and isn't a travesty, he's just not willing to put his ass on the line to get that. sad.  

    What makes you think that "deep down in (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by rennies on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:10:12 PM EST
    his heart" he gives a damn about public welfare? Where do you see any evidence of this in his entire (all seven years) political career?

    good question... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Illiope on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:25:12 PM EST
    i see little evidence in his political career. his work as a community org, decades back, gives some indication. but, really, good question.

    Community Organizer? (2.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jbindc on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:37:31 PM EST
    The 5 minutes he spent doing what (besides networking and resume building) gives you that idea?

    in fairness... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Illiope on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:41:32 PM EST
    i am not big on obama, but in fairness to his work as a commOrg:

    Often by confronting officials with insistent citizens--rather than exploiting personal connections, as traditional black Democrats proposed--Obama and DCP protected community interests regarding landfills and helped win employment training services, playgrounds, after-school programs, school reforms and other public amenities.

    One day a resident at Altgeld Gardens, a geographically isolated public housing project surrounded by waste sites, brought a notice about planned removal of asbestos from the project manager's office. Obama organized the community to find out if there was asbestos in their apartments. They persisted as officials lied and delayed, then took a bus--with far fewer people than Obama had anticipated--to challenge authorities downtown. Ultimately, the city was forced to test all the apartments and eventually begin cleaning them up.



    Not exactly a testament to his organizing skill (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Ellie on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:04:29 PM EST
    ... actually, it's pretty bad.

    They persisted as officials lied and delayed, then took a bus--with far fewer people than Obama had anticipated--to challenge authorities downtown.

    And that's several leagues lower than bush league. This is the SHOW.


    rahm free? (none / 0) (#85)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 10:11:08 AM EST
    He chose the guy after keeping him hidden in the closet, to be the most powerful person in the administration.  You do not do that by accident.  He and rahm go back a long time, right back to Obama's days in the DLC.

    Chuck Todd walks his statement back (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by magster on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:07:20 PM EST
    From TPMDC:

    "Late update: Todd tells Greg Sargent that his words are being taken too literally, and the White House didn't actually say this to him."

    Chuckie getting sloppy.

    Um (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:25:22 PM EST
    Chuck is a reporter.

    Does he know what that means?


    Have you watched the clip? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Steve M on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:57:26 PM EST
    The clip makes it very clear that it was not a quote, anonymous or otherwise.  Even "paraphrase" is stretching the point a bit.  He was simply agreeing with Joe Scarborough that it's a fair characterization of the White House's point of view.

    There was a time when you (none / 0) (#58)
    by oldpro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:00:51 PM EST
    thought so.  I liked him too...until his ambition overcame his journalistic ethics.  And look how fast that worked, careerwise.

    And yet (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by lilburro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:27:38 PM EST
    it's a perfect illustration of why Obama has to stay in front and fight for this now.  People are going to notice if you are avoiding the fight, and on top of that the media will dramatize it.

    If the question now is will the WH help Reid they have to make it obvious that damn right they will.  That question in general is the problem.  Why are we even asking it????


    BTD said it (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by kmblue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:29:23 PM EST
    Obama the Bystander President.

    "Who, me?"


    Yes and no (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by magster on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:41:21 PM EST
    Obama could avoid this by being stronger, but having a fabrication reported as a quote by a network reporter isn't exactly OK.

    True (none / 0) (#54)
    by lilburro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:46:10 PM EST
    what Chuck Todd was thinking I have no idea.  But if the WH stays relatively quiet about the PO there will be stories about doubt, hesitation, etc. in the WH.  They're going to have to step up in order to prevent that.  They have to look alive.

    Too literally? The WH is like Pee-wee's Playhouse (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Ellie on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:24:24 PM EST
    ... with windows rolling like googly eyes as the door flaps out anony-quotes for Chuck Todd?

    Well mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho!


    Why does this guy still have a job? (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by mentaldebris on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:09:16 PM EST
    Give him numbers and let him interpret them but for crying out loud take away his microphone when it comes to reporting or analyzing politics. He's awful at it.

    He exposes himself as an unholy mess of an incompetent "journalist/reporter" when he's admitting this line is fiction and that this is his "interpretation" of the conversation and thus, should not be taken too literally.

    Dude, your job is to report, not to add your own special bit of flair and drama to the proceedings.

    What an incompetent knobb.


    HuffPo begs to differ... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by DancingOpossum on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:29:36 PM EST
    President Barack Obama is actively discouraging Senate Democrats in their effort to include a public insurance option with a state opt-out clause as part of health care reform. In its place, say multiple Democratic sources, Obama has indicated a preference for an alternative policy, favored by the insurance industry, which would see a public plan "triggered" into effect in the future by a failure of the industry to meet certain benchmarks.


    On Thursday evening, after taking the temperature of his caucus, Reid told Obama at a White House meeting that he was pushing a national public option with an opt-out provision. Obama, several sources briefed on the exchange, reacted coolly.

    Lots of anonymous sources, so who knows??? But it's certainly not contradicted by anything the White House is doing.


    Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/24/leaderless-senate-pushes_n_332844.html

    I'm not sure the president wants (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:29:43 PM EST
    to double-dog dare a Democratic caucus that is reaping the benefit of winning - without his help - this particular battle, because now they know they really don't need it.  

    So, if that's the way the president wants to play this, I think he does so at his own peril.

    It's the economy, stupid (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by DancingOpossum on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:36:25 PM EST
    IMO the item that will hurt Obama's chances for reelection the most is the state of the economy.

    Abso-frikkin-lutely. As Carville and Clinton so memorably put it, it's the economy (read: JOBS), stupid. So it is and so it has always been. Job losses will sink Obama, because he has done nothing to address them and won't even say the word "jobs". (Where is the Bestest Evah Speech on job creation?).

    The situation is actually worse than the official numbers show, and everybody knows it. Nobody believes that things are turning around for ordinary, average working Americans -- just for Wall Street. People who don't give a rip about politics and don't know a trigger from an opt-out are scared and angry about their jobs. And the Dems' refusal to face this, to even acknowledge it, will make people even more scared and angry. God only knows who they'll vote for, given the loss of interest in Republicans. It could either be something decidedly better than both parties or something hideously worse.

    Oh wait I lied (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by DancingOpossum on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:41:43 PM EST
    They ARE proposing a solution for jobs!! And it's a tax cut!! YAY!!!

    Yeah, that always works.


    According to this article, the Dems are aware they're standing in quicksand when it comes to the economy, but their "solutions", to use the term verrrry broadly, are hardly inspiring:

    Among measures being studied by the White House and congressional Democrats: extending and expanding a $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers due to expire at the end of next month; and tax breaks for companies that add jobs.

    Rob Shapiro, an economist who was a top official in President Bill Clinton's Commerce Department, sees "substantial, continued job losses" for some time if the government doesn't take more aggressive steps to foster job growth.


    Bailouts (none / 0) (#66)
    by waldenpond on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:14:59 PM EST
    It won't be just tax credits to spur private industry... I expect direct subsidies/giveaways in the nature of the financial bailout.  Obama adds the word 'private' to every statement on jobs.  Trickle down economics seems to be Obama's position.

    Obama is very (none / 0) (#86)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 06:07:10 PM EST
    Reaganesque, isn't that what he wanted?

    I'm no economist (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by kmblue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:59:18 PM EST
    but my email inbox is full of emails from retail stores I patronized in better days, advertising sales sales sales.  Then they send me emails advertising extensions of those sales.  When I've gone to local malls (job hunting, natch) I could have shot a cannon through the aisles and not hit a soul.

    I think Christmas will be a disaster, which will mean more store closings.  Here on the ground in Atlanta, the economy looks bleak.

    Wouldn't you be better off (none / 0) (#63)
    by oldpro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:09:49 PM EST
    job hunting in a bank?  Try Goldman...they must be hiring.

    I understand you are being snarky (none / 0) (#64)
    by kmblue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:12:11 PM EST
    but I actually have applied at banks.
    And supermarkets, and...the list is endless.

    Sorry...my timing is off today. (none / 0) (#67)
    by oldpro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:23:55 PM EST
    What was your last job?  Your best job?  Your preferred job?

    (I've done a bit of job counseling in my day).


    That's the question! (none / 0) (#1)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:00:23 AM EST
    Will Obama fight for PO?

    a more interesting question (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:09:01 AM EST
    might be will he fight against it

    since he really wanted (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:09:34 AM EST
    triggers and all I mean

    He wants "health care reform" (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:11:34 AM EST
    He does not care about triggers, public option, coops, none of that.

    Reid does not either.

    Pols are pols.


    No (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:14:20 AM EST
    He wants a "win", whatever that is.

    Pretty sure (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:16:37 AM EST
    that's what I just wrote.

    I think they are now (none / 0) (#19)
    by lilburro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:24:29 AM EST
    in a position where the only way they get the win is to fight.  And fight now!

    thank you for (none / 0) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:18:21 AM EST
    putting it in quotes

    Knew what you meant, (none / 0) (#7)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:12:33 AM EST
    and Yikes.  Can this WH say "one term president"?  Plenty of Clintonites can determine the outcome in 2012.

    No. Obama will determine (none / 0) (#61)
    by oldpro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:04:39 PM EST
    the outcome.  No one else.

    Yup. (none / 0) (#65)
    by ChiTownDenny on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:13:49 PM EST
    not openly (none / 0) (#6)
    by CST on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:11:38 AM EST
    it's too late for that.

    he is doing that already (none / 0) (#87)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 06:09:26 PM EST
    I wish I could find that article, but he has let democrats know he is in favor of the republican idea of triggers.

    Is Obama dumb enough (none / 0) (#8)
    by kmblue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:12:35 AM EST
    (urged on by Rahmbo) to take to the airwaves, and, in the name of bipartisanship, to urge us all to accept triggers for our own good?  

    you guys are too quick for me (none / 0) (#11)
    by kmblue on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:13:52 AM EST
    never mind

    stop blaming Rahm (none / 0) (#88)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 06:12:22 PM EST
    this is the guy who is Obama's most trusted political ally, the one he wanted at his side in the whitehouse, his dear friend...
    The is the Obama you voted for.  He told us who he was but a minority of democrats wouldn't listen.

    That [Todd's quote] is seriously (none / 0) (#14)
    by lilburro on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 11:14:24 AM EST
    one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

    If Obama really believed that the trigger was the only thing that could pass, he would've made Reid do that.  

    I'm really questioning what the executive strategy is here.  And if the WH fears that Reid is going to f*ck it up, then why did they let him f*ck it up?  Powerlessness?

    They must fight.

    Maybe Reid has figured out that (none / 0) (#45)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:31:34 PM EST
    passing "something" that is nothing more than an empty shell preserving the status quo, in this case, would be more of a political liability than passing nothing at all.

    The Obama Administration may not have been able to pursuade Reid to drop the public option for that reason.

    Of course, this all could be kabuki - where Reid puts the public option in - Obama insists on GOP support - then they preserve the status quo (and their big donors' interests) by insisting on Snowe's trigger - and blame the lack of "change" on the GOP.  Problem is that their kabuki - if it is one - has huge pitfalls - the first being that those big donors aren't going to protect the Democrats in return for being protected from reforms - ultimately - like any smart business people - they are going to support the party that stood most solidly against the reform movement - that party being the Republican Party - and "The People" are going to be pissed off when they figure out that pretty much nothing has changed after all the promises they made.  It is a recipe for disaster for the Democratic Party.  Thanks in advance, Obama crew - shaking head.


    this is nonsensical (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:32:41 PM EST
    Anonymity does not make it unverifiable.

    It means the source is anonymous. Todd said the white house.

    BTW, Todd's walkback is really not a walkback. He says THOSE WORDS were not used but that was the substance of what he was told by a White house official.

    Now is it true? I doubt it almost totally. But part so the Obama Team feel that way because Reid bucked them on triggers.

    Clarify? (none / 0) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 12:48:03 PM EST
    You doubt which, Todd's report or his denial?

    Your last sentence has a typo in it that makes it hard to be sure what you mean.

    TV people have gotten into the incredibly intellectually lazy and sloppy habit of substituting non-quote quotes for charactization.  They say things like, "The White House attitude is, Look, we're not going to get involved in this," etc. etc.  Chuckie is one of the worst offenders.  Don't know whether that's what he was doing in this case or not.


    read it as part of (none / 0) (#59)
    by jes on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 01:03:21 PM EST
    instead of part so.

    Thank you! (none / 0) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:32:53 PM EST
    And here I thought it was all about (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 02:43:29 PM EST
    "bucked" instead of a word that rhymes with it...(note to self: must get mind out of gutter!)

    Will Obama fight? (none / 0) (#81)
    by NealB on Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 10:28:22 PM EST
    He's the first black president in the history of the universe. He doesn't have to fight. He just has to be. He doesn't have to fight. He is the audacity. He is the change. He is the victory. That's it. Clearly, he's never going to fight again. Like the rest of us, all he's going to do is survive.

    bingo (none / 0) (#89)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 06:14:33 PM EST
    he was the change