The House's chief Democratic headcounter said today he hadn't rounded up enough votes to pass President Barack Obama's health care overhaul heading into a make-or-break week, even as the White House's top political adviser said he was "absolutely confident" in its prospects.Axelrod, meanwhile, dares the Republicans to run against the abomination this fall. He can bank on it.
The administration gave signs of retreating on demands that senators jettison special home-state deals sought by individual lawmakers that have angered the public.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs predicted House passage this week, before Obama travels to Asia, a trip he postponed to push for the bill.
"This is the week where we will have this important vote," Gibbs said. "I do think this is the climactic week for health care reform."
Political strategist David Axelrod said Democrats will persuade enough lawmakers to vote "yes." The House GOP leader, Ohio Rep. John Boehner, took up the challenge, acknowledging Republicans alone can't stop the measure, but pledging to do "everything we can to make it difficult for them, if not impossible, to pass the bill." Republicans believe they may get help from Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns.
You know things are bad when even the liberal New York Daily News tells Obama to pull the plug on this mess.
Health reform: Down the stretch it comes. President Obama has gone so far as to postpone an overseas trip in a last-ditch push to get a comprehensive reform bill to his desk.Dr. Milton Wolf wonders why the Democrats are playing the inevitability card.
He shouldn't waste his energy.
Not with unemployment justifiably the nation's top concern and the possibility of a double-dip recession still looming. Remember how Obama said, in his State of the Union reboot, "Jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010"? Well, apparently he doesn't.
Not with the American people abandoning the President's prescription in huge numbers. Just one in four voters supports the reform bill as written; half want Congress to start over. Compare that with the popular support other major pieces of social legislation enjoyed before passage, like welfare reform (68%), Medicare (63%) and civil rights (60%).
Two conclusions: If Nancy had the numbers, she'd call for the vote immediately. She'd literally drag the reps out of their beds the moment she thought this thing would pass. So we can conclude (1) she does not, at least right now, have the votes. That the Dems are resorting to playing the inevitability card to gin up support suggests (2) she is not having much success getting those remaining holdouts.Robert Gibbs claims this hot mess will e the law of the land by this time next week. If that's the case by next Sunday Democrats will have sealed their fate as the minority party come 2011. Gibbs may be a bit too cocky for his own good.