Amid the whipping and driving Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer are orchestrating in their attempt to get a simple majority in their own party to deem the Senate version of ObamaCare passed, some Democrats are venting their frustration at President Obama.
And several House members interviewed by POLITICO said Obama should once again postpone the departure for his looming trip to Australia, Indonesia and Guam, already moved from Friday to Sunday. While creating a natural deadline for eleventh-hour health care talks, that’s once again becoming a problem as Obama tries to sell reluctant members of his party on the reform legislation.
“For the first time in eight months, the president is finally getting his hands dirty, and now he’s going to hop on the plane? Please,” said a Democratic congressman, requesting anonymity.
Key swing voter Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA), who has already received three phone calls from the President, observed what is going to be a prevalent theme in the 2010 midterm elections:
“When people come up to me, there is a decided anti-health-reform view,” Altmire said, referring to the conversations he has with people at fairs, restaurants and church festivals in his Pittsburgh-area district. “The calls to my office have been pretty negative, and it’s gaining momentum every day. I’m giving everybody a chance to be heard, but if my district’s not on board with this, I’m not going to be able to vote for this.”
A preview of this venting by the electorate was prominantly displayed tonight in the President’s interview with Fox News Bret Baier. Having just watched Baier’s interview on Fox with the President I can’t recall a time when a president was so defensive and ineffective when he was pressed on issues about what was in a bill that will become the hallmark of his presidency. Obama could not answer many of the questions (such as the myth that there will be Medicare savings) and that does not bode well for him as the most contentious election season in recent memeory looms. Finally a major news anchor took off the gloves and pressed the president for answers, even interrupting him when the president attempted to fillibuster the process. Transcript here.
Of the many fascinating aspects of the debate about ObamaCare probably the most informative point is that people are seeing that this Presidency is standing on feet of clay. Barack Obama cannot and will not benefit from a vigorous election season that focuses on specific issues. Ironically, he will remain in office as his party loses majorities perhaps in both the House and Senate.