More On Progressive Bargaining: Risk And Reward

Citing my piece (I would have preferred he consider this post) on the progressive failure in political bargaining on the health bills, Nate Silver writes:

Those, like me, who consider the even the "compromise" bill to be a reasonably important and impressive accomplishment will usually conclude that liberal constituencies did about all that they could reasonably do. But those who are dissatisfied with the outcome are likewise dissatisfied with the tactics.

This seems the incorrect metric to me. The metric should not be whether Nate Silver is satisfied with the bill, but rather how much of what progressives wanted ended up in the bill because of their bargaining. In my view the progressives accomplished almost nothing in their bargaining. And, in fact, it appears Silver agrees with me:

What happens, for instance, if we reduce the flexibility variable for the Progressive Democrats in Congress? That is, we make them more intransigent and demanding, as many bloggers suggested that they should have been? It turns out that nothing happens; the outcome of the negotiation is still a 52. Nor is there much change if we make the progressive position more flexible; the model comes up with a score of 53. (We can increase the score slightly if we make the progressives more influential -- to a score of about 56. But influence is not easily obtained and should probably be regarded as exogenous to the model.)

Set aside for a moment the rather inane contraption Silver uses for predicting bargaining outcomes, his conclusion is that progressive bargaining failed. Silver asserts that this failure was inevitable and progressive efforts were completely futile and a waste of time, but he nonetheless reaches the conclusion that the efforts were a failure.

Was the failure inevitable? In my view, no. But Silver sees it as inevitable because he can not imagine a world where progressives exercise veto power. Silver writes:

Note that this is a very complex negotiation. At least five different parties effectively have veto power over the process, including the White House, the Blue Dogs (who cast the decisive votes in both chambers of Congress), and both the Floor and Committee Leadership.

(Emphasis supplied.) And there you have the progressive failure in political bargaining in a nutshell - no one EVER believed that progressive had veto power, or more accurately, no one ever believed progressives would ever EXERCISE veto power. That the progressives would be rolled was a given. Obviously that was an accurate view of the reality.

But that of course is my point:

The question was how to bargain with the people who wanted a bill passed (the White House) to maximize your bargaining position. Unfortunately, that required being willing to do something progressives simply were not willing to do - create the real possibility that no bill would be passed because of their opposition. Without that commitment, the progressives were sure to be the first rolled. And they were.

Silver can not imagine a progressive bargaining position that threatened the passage of the health bills. No one could imagine it, even progressives. Until they can not only imagine it, but in fact project it in a political negotiation, progressives will remain irrelevant outside of Democratic primaries, when they will receive a plethora of campaign promises sure to be abandoned by pols. Cuz that is what pols do.

I think there is actually a counter example that anyone interested in bargaining can look to for a better result - the unions and the excise tax. The unions were willing to "kill the bill" unless they received major concession on the excise tax issue. the White House wanted an excuse tax and serious and tough negotiations ensued, with the unions gaining major concessions.

The only reason why the unions were able to garner those concessions was because they were willing to, and were perceived as willing to, "kill the bill." They knew Obama wanted this health bill more than they did and that Obama would find a way to accommodate the unions' concerns on the excise tax.

The unions took the risk of killing the bill and were rewarded with major concessions on their key issue. That is how bargaining works.

Speaking for me only

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    if you're not willing (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by cpinva on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:24:22 AM EST
    to close your briefcase, snap the lock and get up and walk away from the table, you might as well not even bother to show up, because you've lost before you even start.

    that's "negotiating 101", something apparently lost on the progressives in congress. with all the lawyers on capital hill, one has to wonder how competently they represented clients (for those engaged in private practice, prior to their elections), if this is an example of their negotiating skills.

    but hey, that's just me.

    Seems pretty simple no? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:34:51 AM EST
    Co chair Lyn Woolsey is a wimp (none / 0) (#56)
    by klassicheart on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:47:10 PM EST
    If Lyn Woolsey was voted co chair of the Progressive Caucus, doesn't that say it all?  Not only is she ineffective in presenting her position on television, she is ineffective as a leader of the progressive caucus.  So the question is why was she selected?  Why isn't Anthony Weiner or some other progressive who is an effective legislator selected as a co chair?  If Progressives select people like Woolsey...or losers like her, what can we expect...except to lose?  The next question is whether this is intentional....whether there are players in the progressive caucus who are there to sabotage progressive legislation.  

    Good point (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:38:53 AM EST
    I saw this yesterday and was sort of shocked.  Silver's credibility is entirely shot to me if he thinks he can lead people by the nose with his "calculations."  And of course he can, Booman was all over it for example.

    and also, this particular assumption (although all of them are completely subjective):

    Insurance Lobbiysts (0). Comparatively low influence, but very engaged. Modestly flexible -- not totally averse to compromise.

    How can you look at the deals that were made at the start and say they had "comparatively low influence"?  As far as I can tell the Dems were terrified of the insurance companies.

    The whole damn thing Silver does here is completely ridiculous.

    Your argument is more clever than mine though.

    His tools are ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:42:29 AM EST
     and intended to put some type of quantitative rigor on what is simply seat of the pants analysis, but when you consider the actual argument he is making, he's not wrong on how it played out.

    His problem (really progressives' problem) is the inability to imagine actual progressive bargaining and what that entails.


    Quantitative rigor. (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:35:09 AM EST
    First rule of statistics and data modeling:  GIGO - garbage in, garbage out.

    Seriously (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:42:28 AM EST
    It's a complete joke. I think I've seen infomercials with more rigor.

    LOL. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:46:58 AM EST
    It's certainly not the first time someone has seduced people into believing their conclusions by waxing rhapsodically about likelihood models, prior probabilities, and statistical significance - which all detracts the audience from the crap data that was fed into the analysis.

    I make the infomercial comparison (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:52:52 AM EST
    because what he did sounded so much like "how much would you pay?"

    Just compare the Yugo you're selling to the price of a Rolls Royce, and instantly you look like a great deal!


    from an argument standpoint (none / 0) (#14)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:57:08 AM EST
    this for example:

    I also tested what happened if certain groups were removed from the process. For example, the projected outcome increases from 52 to 58 if the committee chairs are bypassed, and from 52 to 57 if Olympia Snowe is ignored. It appears that dealing additional groups into a negotiation can have potentially unpredictable and deleterious consequences; even if those groups are not influential initially, they have a chance to accumulate influence once they're seated at the table.

    Uh no kidding.

    and this:

    The frustration that a lot of activists feel, I think, stems from the fact that they put a lot of money into the pot but then had to fold. It sure sounds good to say: oh, we need both pragmatists and idealists in the liberal community, but it's also possible that activists would have done better had either of these groups unilaterally dictated the strategy.

    Everything that increases the score in that post was advocated by the "idealists" in the activist community, and not the pragmatists (Silver, Klein, etc.).  The fact that "idealists" taking the lead could've changed the outcome by his model doesn't matter to Silver, because he doesn't care what the outcome is.

    Anyway the fact that he uses this model is just sad.  I prefer my charlatans to be a bit more self aware than he is.


    It's part of a pushback (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:01:07 AM EST
    As you know, my critique has gotten under a lot of skins, particularly Chris Bowers, who does not relish the role of sap he has to embrace.

    Silver intends to support Bowers here, but in fact, completely undermines him inadvertently.

    To believe Silver is to believe Bowers and all progressives, especially progressive activists, are irrelevant.

    Hardly a rallying cry.


    Silver seems practically corrupt. (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:16:54 AM EST
    How can he justify his made up tools? He IS the tool.

    Relevance (none / 0) (#29)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:35:29 AM EST
    I wrote yesterday that he has made himself irrelevant.  I would never look at his numbers again.  He clouds facts with personal opinion and sociology experiments and has polluted his figures.

    And (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:28:16 AM EST
    If pigs had wings they could fly.

    What is his point?


    Those tools could be useful (none / 0) (#26)
    by Manuel on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:31:06 AM EST
    It is useful to build models for decision making and bargaining.  There is game theory and probablility theory that one can then bring to bear on the models.  Such models have been succesfully used to, among other things, create jitter free cameras and energy efficient washing machines (cycle lengths depend on how dirty your clothes are).  The application of these techniques to politics is still in its infancy, however.

    There was a time where batting average, home runs and RBI were among the most prominent statistics in baseball.  Things are different today (for the better, I think).  I am not sure politics can get to where baseball is today but I am curious to see how far Silver can get.


    He has no cred. (none / 0) (#48)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:42:39 AM EST
    He does stupid unscientific experiments like this one, gives them an authoritative gloss due to his reputation, and drives traffic.  I'm not curious as to what he'll do because he apparently will compromise whatever it takes to get there.

    What makes the model unscientific? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Manuel on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 11:02:40 AM EST
    It isn't Silver's method but that of some political scientist he knows.  The model has been used to analyze other situations.  It is quite crude and very dependent on subjective assignments to input variable.  Neverteheless, such models have been useful in other fields.  I don't understand what it is that you consider unscientific about the method.

    Models (none / 0) (#51)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 11:10:38 AM EST
    don't work in every field.  Nate Silver pulled all his assumptions more or less out of his @ss.

    Fuzzy logic (none / 0) (#52)
    by Manuel on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 12:47:07 PM EST
    Yes, it is an unfortunate name but fuzzy logic and Bayesian models do work in a surprisingly large range of fields one might consider imprecise.  Yes, they can be misapplied.  Yes, they depend on subjective assesments with which one might disagree.  The point, however, was that even if you varied the assumptions in a way more aligned with your preferences, the results would be similar.  I haven't looked at the model in detail but it has some predictive value then it is scientific and useful regradless of this indovidual application.

    but he offers (none / 0) (#54)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 02:33:25 PM EST
    no rationale for his assumptions.  For ex.

    - White House (70). Very highly influential but distracted (lower engagement). Extremely flexible; wants deal done. Veto point.
    • Nancy Pelosi (75). Influential, highly engaged, quite flexible. Veto point.
    • Harry Reid (67.5). Modestly influential (less than Pelosi), highly engaged, very flexible. Veto point.
    • Progressive Democrats (85). Modestly influential, engaged, modestly flexible.
    • Moderate Democrats (67.5). Modestly influential, reasonably engaged, very ambivalent/flexible.
    • Blue Dogs (52.5). Influential, engaged, fairly inflexible. Veto point.
    • Committee Chairs (60). Modestly influential, highly engaged, reasonably flexible. Veto point.
    • Olympia Snowe (42.5). Low influence (although high relative to other individual members of Congress), but engaged. Modestly flexible.
    • Republicans (20). Low influence, modest engagement. Completely inflexible.
    • Insurance Lobbiysts (0). Comparatively low influence, but very engaged. Modestly flexible -- not totally averse to compromise.
    • Liberal Activists/Unions (100). Low influence, engaged, somewhat inflexible relative to policy-makers.
    • Voters/public sentiment (45). Highly influential, but very distracted/disengaged. Position somewhat amorphous/flexible.

    Why not add Pharma?  How about the Gang of Six?  Or Max Baucus?

    And he keeps most of his assumptions steady throughout the whole process, adjusting one factor at a time (the process being:  activists are more or less flexible; all else is the same.  What is my score then?  OK.  How about the President is more or less influential?  All else is the same.  What is my score then.  OK!).

    It's a very simple game that not surprisingly confirms what Nate Silver believes, since his underlying assumptions are based on his punditry alone.  There's way too much to argue about in terms of his assumptions for the results of his game to make any sense whatsoever.


    Remember all the speculation about how (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:04:49 AM EST
    Obama was going to magically put a public option into the bill at reconciliation, or at other points in the process. I think some still expect him to put one in as a signing statement. /snark  Actually, if I floated that rumor I bet many would hyperventilate about the brilliant 11 dimensional chess move to come.

    I think many progressives thought Obama was their seat at the table, and that HE would walk away from it if the bill was not 'progressive enough'. Now that he has not walked away, they have convinced themselves the bill must be good.

    To many are not willing to walk away from a table that Obama is chairing. We'll see about Kucinich.

    speaking only for me, as they say (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:24:48 AM EST
    I never thought Obama would do it.  but I did think it could happen.  
    and I still think it COULD have happened with a little courage and leadership.

    as far as Kucinich.  he is going to vote for the bill.  IMO.
    personally I applaud Mr Kucinich for his courageous and forward looking change of heart.


    How courageous is it (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:30:13 AM EST
    When he's been out there all along saying single payer. public option, bill doesn't go far enough, can't vote for it - only to then turn around and vote for a bill he thinks is complete crap?

    Seems like he got some call from the WH saying support this bill, or we won't support you come November.

    To me, that's called caving.


    others would call it (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:39:29 AM EST
    courage and integrity.  and it was just posted in the other thread that his reason was not destroying the effectiveness of this president.

    which is a very powerful argument.


    Hmmmm.... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:48:38 AM EST
    Sounds exactly like some of the same arguments we heard with GWB - have to support the president so he can look strong, blah, blah, blah.

    And, as the NYT article you linked to yesterday made the point - if this one bill destroys his presidency, then he's weaker than we thought.


    I will leave it to you (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:52:19 AM EST
    to explain how helping the president "look strong" while executing an illegal war and helping him "look strong" in providing health care for people who need it are the same.

    Not just about the war (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:07:21 AM EST
    But you're smart and you know that - just being obtuse.

    Bush did something (none / 0) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:10:24 AM EST
    besides start a war?

    A call? He got a ride on AF One... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:00:06 AM EST
    all I can say is that Chicago-style politics wins again - and it must have been powerful enough that Dennis didn't even get anything in exchange for his support.  I was hoping for the ERISA waiver that would allow the states to set up their own single-payer programs, but no - not even that.

    He's mouthing the "work on it down the road" BS, buying into the falsity that this is about bringing health CARE to millions of people, when it is about insurance, back room deals, assurances to the industry about no public/government option.

    And a man who has been to the left of Obama on just about everything is now claiming this is about not destroying the effectiveness of the president?  To do what, keep moving us to the right, keep channeling Reagan?

    If that's integrity, I guess that's one more word in the dictionary I have to revise.


    oh (none / 0) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:10:01 AM EST
    how the mighty have fallen

    Yes (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:12:01 AM EST
    We all have been worried about you lately.

    ha (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:16:18 AM EST
    thank you for suggesting I was ever "mighty" but dont you worry about me.

    Can you have it both ways? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:31:33 AM EST
    Have progressives with the bargaining abiliity and courage to walk away from the table even if it means killing the bill, and also have them cave and vote for it after the bargainning is done?  What leverage does Kucinuch ever get int he future if he caves now?

    no idea what leverage (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:40:08 AM EST
    he will have in the future but I think he did the right thing and I will credit him for it.

    Actually (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:10:24 AM EST
    Kucinich looks like another wave the white flag "progressive". he would ahve been better not going around saying all that he did and saying that he wasnt going to vote for it. No wonder people don't think "progressives" can defend the country. They keep preemptively surrendering everything.

    Very good point (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by klassicheart on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:59:39 PM EST
    and quite true.  Obama's foreign policy is a mess and he is perceived as weak and indecisive.  So Obama combines the worst of all things Democratic...center right on domestic policy and easily rolled on foreign policy.  Howard Dean may have been one of the few Democrats who would have changed the Democratic brand.  As it is, Obama seems destined to destroy it. And anyone looking for a choice, has none.  I think Alan Grayson has potential...I want him as the Progressive Co Chair.

    Yes, that's it. And they STILL think (none / 0) (#21)
    by observed on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:20:05 AM EST
    he's their man.

    Kucinich Has Folded (none / 0) (#59)
    by norris morris on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:08:42 PM EST
    his hand. He had the cards and held onto them, but when on Airforce One a deal was struck.

    We'll find what it was  later on, but for now he's backtracked miserably and shamefully as his faux liberal act morphed into a foolish snookered pol looking like a  lost cocker spaniel.

    He knows very well that this  bill is a boon to drug and insurance monopolies, and contains unexplained and unexamined holes. Imagine what goodies are coming.   Interestingly this great progressive doesn't mind the Nelson amendment that practically shreds RoevWade. Or the dirty sneaky process being invoked to pass this piece of tripe.  Oh yes the Villagers will tell you the Republicans do this a lot.

    So of course, if the Republicans use stealth parlimentary moves to ram through unpopular law, then of course, we liberals can do the same dirty business.  Yes?   er, No.

    Kucinich must have been offered great goodies that created the stupor he's in allowing him to ignore  the attacks on women and their rights to equal protection and choice.

    After all, what do the millions of the underclass  mean to Kucinich and Obama? Well off and connected women can always hide their humiliations with money.   Nelson aimed right at the heart of the working poor who are the most vulnerable women among us.

    Nice going Mr. Liberal. We really have to remember this when we vote.


    That Silver post seemed to be one (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by magster on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:29:30 AM EST
    where his conclusion led to his analysis rather than the other way around.

    the only post like that?! (none / 0) (#32)
    by observed on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:41:56 AM EST
    Bargaining with friends (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Manuel on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:48:55 AM EST
    The mistake progressives make when bargaining with the white house is that they assume they are bargaining with friends.  That is why they are unable to walk away.  Consider bargaining with a friend about what activity to engage in for an evening out or what restaurant to go to.  Walking away in such situations is very hard to do if you value the relationship.  Your friend's choice of food has to be distasteful for you to walk away and strain the friendship.  For many, the HCR food is proving hard to swallow.

    Kucinich's Cave (1.00 / 1) (#60)
    by norris morris on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:21:06 PM EST
    Obama is from the land of Chicago where mob politics, intimidation and slick moves are a daily occurence. He's been there.

    Kucinich needs his job, and maybe a better job.
    And from the hang dog look on his face as he sputtered about how terrible private insurance is without a public option, blah, blah, he really [oh sure] has come to the conclusion after speaking with Mr, President, that a  bad bill is better than no bill. And 30 million you all, you know......Stupak? Nelson? He forgot about them.

    That kind of logic can only be the result of political intimidation...or worse. Like running candidates against him, denying him any seniority or chair possibilities, etc. Guess the rest.

    So Kucinich is just another Democratic whore.

    you say (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:31:37 AM EST
    But Silver sees it as inevitable because he can not imagine a world where progressives exercise veto power.

    I fear that is the world we live in

    Huh? (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:34:33 AM EST
    You must live in some imaginary world then.

    when I see them do it I (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:43:12 AM EST
    will concede you are correct

    See who do what? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:45:26 AM EST
    What are you talking about?

    You seem confused this morning.


    when I see (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:46:00 AM EST
    "progressives exercise veto power".

    Um (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:47:28 AM EST
    Then you don't fear that you actually live in a world where progressives exercise veto power?

    You string of comments do not make sense.


    jeez (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:51:17 AM EST
    once more, you said:

    But Silver sees it as inevitable because he can not imagine a world where progressives exercise veto power.

    I said I fear that is the world we live in.  that is, a world where progressives do not and probably will not exercise veto power.  


    Again (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:02:38 AM EST
    your construct does not make sense.

    I see now what you are trying to say. In my view, you did not say it in an understandable way.

    No biggie.


    not a first (none / 0) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:06:25 AM EST
    for me

    There (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:45:54 AM EST
    is no such thing as "progressive" bargaining IMO. Progressive means whatever Obama wants and nothing more. It means preemptive surrender. I've come to hate the word "progessive" since it seems to have come to mean the same thing as "being rolled" by the opposition. Honestly, for all the whining about the blue dogs at least they know how to negotiate.

    Political Bargaining (2.00 / 1) (#61)
    by norris morris on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:38:35 PM EST
    is not surrendering and conceeding from the beginning. Obama's Emperor stance is a result of his style of doing just that.   Obama is comfortable with this and made no bones about making backroom deals and avoiding leadership to throw the scent to the congress. Slick.

     Blue Dogs and Republican heavies know how to negotiate and are sincere about their core beliefs.  They have real ideological points of view and will fight hard for them. With these guys its open warfare because they believe in what they do. They work hard at winning.

    I hate what they believe, but as they say it's a free country. Democrats, liberals, progressives, and political opportunists like Obama take the path of least resistance and hide behind their liberal word frames and do nothing. They are terrible at bargaining and basically weak and lazy.  So they lose, or like Obama do whatever it takes as he has no core beliefs as we have seen.

    Democrats are also disorganized and immature as a
    group which leads to infighting and backrooming, pork deals and other embarrassments.

    You know what?  Democrats cannot lead and govern in this moment and we have the wrong leader to inspire dignity,loyalty,integrity, and the will to win and in this political poker series.


    Definitions: (none / 0) (#53)
    by StephenAG on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 12:50:51 PM EST
    progressive = being rolled by the opposition

    bipartisanship = date rape


    Look! There's my friend! (none / 0) (#12)
    by kidneystones on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 08:48:11 AM EST
    Nothing could have been clearer than Axelrod's contempt for DKOS and company from day one. And why not? 13 million email addresses later the geriatric hippies were sucking up to the new guard. Facebook founders took a year off to organize a GOTV machine that is certain to be the story of the 2008 campaign. To that end, Axelrod and Obama couldn't really care less what anyone else thinks, even many on the 2008 list. The Obama team is working a new generation of supporters even as the 2008 loses faith in the One. The young still find the speeches spell-binding and if enough of them show up at the polls for Him, that's all the Obama team cares about. Two years before 2008 He was busy telling those dumb enough to believe him that he didn't think he possessed the experience to be president. Now, two years before the 2012 elections he's telling folks he's more interested in doing a good job than winning a second term.

    When the Obama team sits down at the table they know what they want and they have a pretty good idea of how to get it. He flicked out a finger and 'progressives' like Jane, and Markos, and Matt wrapped themselves around the extended digit and squealed with joy.

    Axelrod looked at Obama and smiled. The same thing is happening all over again, only this time Obama isn't going to be sharing any spotlights. It'll be Him versus the forces of darkness.

    Change you can believe in.

    And these people thought Bush was stupid! (none / 0) (#19)
    by observed on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:08:04 AM EST

    why do people (none / 0) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:23:36 AM EST
    keep saying "if"?
    its done.  read the damn statement

    Voting yes (none / 0) (#49)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 10:50:12 AM EST
    He already announced he's voting for it.  One portion of his statement was concerning what a tough job the President has which was a little sappy.

    I don't support the insurance model the bill is creating but I could care less if Kucinich votes for the bill.

    "Hard work!" Pathetic... (none / 0) (#55)
    by oldpro on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 07:01:56 PM EST
    Grayson is a freshman... (none / 0) (#58)
    by klassicheart on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:05:20 PM EST
    and if he wants to raise his profile in leadership, it would do him no good to vote no.  But he is the one pushing for a medicare for all amendment.  I think Grayson is a stand out.  Just watch him on YouTube in hearings nobody really watches...he's sensational...plus he successfully represented plaintiffs in whistleblower cases involving U.S. govt. contractor fraud.  Grayson has what it takes...

    good analysis (none / 0) (#62)
    by par4 on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 09:20:02 AM EST