Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on the Public Option"

How big do you think this whopper is?

Obama said the public option "has become a source of ideological contention between the left and right." But, he added, "I didn't campaign on the public option." ...wonder if the interview is on video.

Some damage control is in need. The positioning of himself, between the left and right, is expected, and he's definitely more concerned with that positioning right now than he is with a campaign pledge.

The Good Old Days:

It's the worst of worst worlds. Obama seems to believe, way back then, in the single-payer solution. He campaigned for the public option, and against the mandate. There is no public option, and there is a mandate.

Update [2009-12-22 20:21:19 by Jerome Armstrong]:

New heights scaled!

Update [2009-12-22 21:36:36 by Jerome Armstrong]:

Final word?

Tags: obama (all tags)

Comments

151 Comments

Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on the

He campaigned on it about as much as Hillary did... In other words, it was buried in fine print on their respective web sites, with barely any mention in public.

The first I herd that Hillary had a public option in her plan was at this site, when someone told me to check out here site... I certainly never heard her mention it once publicly during the campaign.

by LordMike 2009-12-22 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on the

The president is lying, and it is a whopper of a lie at that:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/1 2/22/818090/-President-Obama:-I-Didnt-Ca mpaign-on-the-Public-Option.-

I will be blunt. It is one thing to say - you don't think you get it now. I was mad at that. But what you are now doing Lord Mike is equally lying.  If I was not sure until now, I don't consider you an honest actor here. Plain and Simple.

And before anyone dares comment about what I just wrote, read the link and respond with your own links illustrating how what was just said by the president is not a lie. Otherwise, I will simply ignore you and whatever b.s you post trying to distract from this whopper.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on the

I do not recall either Obama or Hillary ever mentioning the public option during their campaigns, and I followed things pretty closely.  Now, maybe a missed a speech here and there, but all that says is that the public option was NOT the focus of either campaign, and only became a focus after the inauguration.

by LordMike 2009-12-22 02:08PM | 0 recs
That's exactly where the bruh fails on this

Yes, Obama did have it as part of a campaign appearance, as mentioned above.

This is not the first time Obama, a President, or any politician, left and right, has ever denied having made a point in their campaign. There are dozens of other Obama statements in his campaign that he later denied, or lack of statements he later claimed he made.

The problem for the bruh is that Obama did not campaign "on" the public option, as if it were a cornerstone and stuck in peoples' minds.

You've already lost the battle when you're going around having to remind people that Obama said something in his campaign that he just said he didn't campaign on.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: That's exactly where the bruh fails on this

Between the blaming it on Clinton and getting to the definition of "on" we are making progress...

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-22 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: That's exactly where the bruh fails on this

Do you really believe that Obama did not campaign on a public option?  I'm just asking for your recollection.

by orestes 2009-12-22 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: That's exactly where the bruh fails on this

As I said, predictably the normal suspects are spinning like tops. He didn't say it was a "cornerstone" means they are just spinning at this point because they know its a lie so they are left parsing in ways to get out of it.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 03:04PM | 0 recs
Shorter bruh:

Anyone who sees differently than I just just plain wrong.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:19PM | 0 recs
Oh he absolutely did...sort of.

Having been there at the Fleet Center in 2004 when Obama spoke* and having worked with the Obama campaign from Day 1, I can tell you that my recollection is that Obama at various times mentioned a Public Option.

But when I think of campaigning "on" something, what comes to mind are general initiatives (e.g.,  "healthcare reform", not specific details (e.g., public option).

In my mind, the PO was never a major thrust of the campaign. What Obama did campaign "on" in my mind were cost controls, which so far, are lacking (to my knowledge, someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Is this a misstep? Yes.
Is this 100% the wrong thing to say to your progressive fans? Oh yes.
Is it a whopper of a lie? I'm not so sure...

In the end, the people who like Obama (like me) are going to say that it's wrong, but not the end of the world. The people who are critical of Obama are going to see this as more betrayal. Which is all the more reason it was the wrong thing to say. I hope he walks it back.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh he absolutely did...sort of.

I find the parsing quite shocking. Sure, you can try to pass that off in the internets, but it would never fly in public discourse.  Surely, you recognize that?  

More importantly, he may lose significant credibility with the majority of Americans who do not fall into either of your camps.  Obama may be hit especially hard on this lie because he held himself up to a higher standard during his campaign.  That makes the fall all the worse.  

by orestes 2009-12-22 03:32PM | 0 recs
What's the lie again?

Sure, you can try to pass that off in the internets, but it would never fly in public discourse.
Who else is talking about this?

Come back and let me know when this actually grows legs and makes it out into the public discourse.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh he absolutely did...sort of.

Shocking, I tell you.  I may have the vapors.

Obama didn't "campaign on" the public option.  Anybody who says he did is ignorant.  Anybody who implies he did is telling a white lie, at best.

If Obama had campaigned on a public option, I would have known about it.

He had a white paper on it, and he mentioned it a few times, but to intimate that it was an important aspect of his campaign is plain dishonest.

by lojasmo 2009-12-22 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh he absolutely did...sort of.

Nice attempt to try to move the goalpost with your parsing.  No one is intimating anything.  The question is whether Obama campaigned on the public option.  His campaign literature apparently included it, he prepared a health care plan which included it, he responded to news media questionnaires and included it, but no, he didn't campaign on it.  Only in Obamaland would this logic prevail.

by orestes 2009-12-22 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh he absolutely did...sort of.

the problem with asking intellectually dishonest sychophants to tell the truth is that they are going to lie.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Best

Fanboy!

More substantively. Like many politicians, Obama has stretched the truth. Shocking, shocking, shocking. None of my liberal heroes would ever have done that.

Did he make it a centrepiece of his campaign? Not to my eyes. I followed the campaign quite closely, and this only emerged as big factor in the last six months during the bill. My memory of GE and Primaries was talk about 'mandates' and wider coverage.

So we're back to where we were. This bill isn't as good as liberals and progressives wanted, but it's better than the status quo favoured by republicans. Kick Obama all you want. He's a politician, he can take it. Push him (and particularly you other reps) harder on the issues that come up.

But if you have apoplexies of betrayal and poutrage every time a politician falls short of a campaign promise, you're going to have a painfully short life in real politics.

AmIrite Jerome?

by brit 2009-12-23 01:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on the

What you "recall" and what the records shows are two different things. That's why we look to politicians and their public statements. So that we don't have to rely on something as faulty as memory.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on the

Just to clarify, are you referring to public statements during the campaign, or after?

by fogiv 2009-12-22 03:14PM | 0 recs
A falsehood, yes.

A whopper? Most likely not.

There's unfortunately too much wiggle room in what he said to hang him on an outright lie, and expect some clarification and walk back.

But I do keep hoping that you'll get him on something soon!

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: A falsehood, yes.

If you look at the substance of what he is saying here (instead of parsing each nuance), the essence of what he is saying is, I didn't promise you a public option.  Yet, his campaign plank includes the public option and he repeatedly stated earlier this year that he wanted a public option.  He is trying to back away from his stated position; that is the damaging aspect of this statement.  Also, bear in mind that this is on the heels of his claim that the senate fought back against the special interests (insurance lobby) to cull together its HC bill.  He is taking his spin to such a level that he is exposing himself as someone willing to say anything to save his face (even though it has just the opposite effect).  

In the end, the American people will hear Obama saying he didn't promise us a public option, so the senate bill is exactly what he said we would get.  Whether you can parse the statement to minimize semantic damage, the public relations damage is irreversible.

by orestes 2009-12-22 03:08PM | 0 recs
He's confusing mandates with the public option.

What an asshole.

by glitterannebegay 2009-12-22 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: the ol" its Hilarys fault

Huh?  How am I "blaming clinton"?  I first learned of the public option from posters here who pointed me to her web site.  I didn't hear her ever say it publicly.  That doesn't mean that she didn't talk about it, but it was hardly the focus of her campaign.  On the other side, Obama's plan was nothing but mush.  I had some hesitations about voting for him considering his health care "plan" seemed nothing more than platitudes.  Turns out, that was correct. If Obama mentioned the public option in 2008 more than a handful of times, then I'd be surprised.  I certainly never heard it.

The fact is, the public option simply wasn't talked about until 2009 by anyone in the public eye.  I'm not blaming anyone, but to say that it was a central focus of the 2008 campaign is seriously stretching it.

by LordMike 2009-12-22 03:03PM | 0 recs
Clinton talked about the public option

a great deal. She even brought up in debate appearances. That and cost containment, were going to make the plan affordable.

by glitterannebegay 2009-12-22 03:07PM | 0 recs
You know I agree with you. One of the differences

between HRC and Obama during primary was the healthcare plan. If I remember correctly HRC was promising a form of universal coverage plan where everybody would be mandated to buy into the insurance pool whereas Obama was resisting the individual mandate. Thus his plan was covering about 85% of the uninsured folks. That was the subtle difference. But I didn't hear Obama campaigning on the universal coverage plan. The public option might have been a latter embrace during the GE, if at all. For all I know, Obama is probably correct in his assertion.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 04:21PM | 0 recs
I stand by what I wrote. You're

a Johnny-come-lately-from-Texas, pretending to be from Columbia University, playing music in his little cave all this time.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 05:38PM | 0 recs
Can you please link that NYTimes poll in

accordance to your claims?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 06:36PM | 0 recs
You quoted a poll done by NYTimes

claiming none of Obama's classmates remember  Your linked article do not have any poll. Please read the article and link the right page. Infact contrary to your assertions about Obama's performance, the article states this


One person who did remember Mr. Obama was Michael L. Baron, who taught a senior seminar on international politics and American policy. Mr. Baron, now president of an electronics company in Florida, said he was Mr. Obama's adviser on the senior thesis for that course. Mr. Baron, who later wrote Mr. Obama a recommendation for Harvard Law School, gave him an A in the course.

Columbia was a hotbed for discussion of foreign policy, Mr. Baron said. The faculty included Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser, and Zalmay Khalilzad, now the American ambassador to the United Nations. Half of the eight students in the seminar were outstanding, and Mr. Obama was among them, Mr. Baron said.

Michael J. Wolf, who took the seminar with him and went on to become president of MTV Networks, said: "He was very smart. He had a broad sense of international politics and international relations. It was a class with a lot of debate. He was a very, very active participant. I think he was truly distinctive from the other people in that class. He stood out."

Last I checked this is not your diary nor your blog. You're surely welcome to contact Jerome. Infact please mention your violation of copyright laws. As far I know I haven't insulted you as of yet, albeit your invectives at myself and my mother. BTW you called Obama a liar, please point out where I called you a liar?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 07:05PM | 0 recs
OK, Obama didn't graduate with honors,

but you graduated with honors. So you're better than Obama. Now you are happy?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 07:16PM | 0 recs
Ok once again, where did I make

"low and dirty charge" against you? Your prevarications are now beyond you. Everybody reading this blog can go back and read the invectives you've launched against me and my mother. Infact those comments clearly violate this blog guidelines. In any other blog, you'd be banned for making such scurrilous comments against another user. I do invite you to write to Jerome and we can track back what you've written thus far.

Your blatant misuse of copyrighted material is not construed to be fair use. It is clear you haven't obtained any permission from Mike Keefe to reprint his cartoon here.

BTW I don't really give a flying hoot whether you write in this blog or not.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 07:52PM | 0 recs
Here's what you wrote about my mother

yesterday. A tad soon to forget isn't it? And do you want me to tally every invective you called me?

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2009/12/21/ 11314/368/25?mode=alone;showrate=1#25

BTW seriously is this all a cry for help?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 08:25PM | 0 recs
Sure I've no problem in not commenting

on your diaries or your comments as long as you don't make BS charges and statements in public blogs and you don't continue to insult me.

Please do us a favor and seek help in real life.

Good luck.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 08:32PM | 0 recs
Yes I'm aware of that WSJ article and the
reference to the Poll. As usual you goofed up by claiming it was NYTimes.
You forgot to mention (most likely you didn't read the article) that it was FoxNews who claimed to done the poll by supposedly calling 400 of his classmates. If you didn't know, let me enlighten you that FoxNews is not highly regarded source in any progressive blog.
by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 07:13PM | 0 recs
Would you please stop these silly
referencing? In case you didn't know, two of the news sources that you have quoted WSJ and FoxNews
are owned by Rupert Murdoch and News Media Corporation. They have vested interests to be anti-Obama and anti-progressives.
NYSun on the other hand had ceased publication. In 2008 they published a discredited smear against Obama
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Framing_Obama: _what_the_Spectator_and_the_New_York_Sun _won't_tell_you
by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 07:42PM | 0 recs
On the other hand go read your own
College newspaper
http://www.college.columbia.edu/cct_arch ive/jan05/cover.php
by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 07:44PM | 0 recs
Okie Dokie, you have an undergrad degree

from Columbia U..and?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 06:43PM | 0 recs
15% of Americans not being covered isn't a subtle

difference. That's 45 million Americans. And the problem with leaving that many people uninsured, outside of the huge moral issue, is that it becomes much harder to bend the cost curve.

Clinton was full steam ahead on the public option and promised to cover everyone. Obama was opposed to mandates, though his corporate sponsors wanted them. So, being the flaccid little tool that he is, he sat out the debate and lobbied privately for mandates and no public option.

by glitterannebegay 2009-12-22 06:53PM | 0 recs
Well healthcare was one of the reasons

I supported HRC during primaries. Anything else?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 07:08PM | 0 recs
Yeah, hear what she's saying

Obama never promised universal healthcare plan. It's not his fault that some in the left projected their ideas on him...

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 04:23PM | 0 recs
If you can read what you just quoted

you'll know your answer. He didn't promise universal healthcare during primaries.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 04:59PM | 0 recs
Why don't you go play music or

whatever your claim to fame is? There are certain things seem to be difficult for you to understand.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 05:15PM | 0 recs
ducon, read what you write carefully..okay!

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 05:35PM | 0 recs
did he promise universal healthcare?

are you listening with your ears open? Did you study music at Columbia..your ears should be ringing by now..

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 05:27PM | 0 recs
And he is at the end of his first term as

President? Do you know how to count? Sure it is clear now.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 05:34PM | 0 recs
Gee, I haven't even seen your kind of lingua

skillset for a longtime..and who was your professor again?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 05:41PM | 0 recs
Did you take Mike Keefe's or Denver

Post's permission for reprint before you posted the cartoon? From Mike's website


Request Permission to Reprint this Cartoon

Reprint fees are based on the type of publication and the circulation or print run. Please fill out this form to request a quote for reprinting the cartoon in your publication.  


http://www.intoon.com/cartoons.cfm

In case you didn't, you are violating the copyright laws and actually putting this blog in tangle.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 06:22PM | 0 recs
Please remove the cartoon in case

you haven't obtained Mike Keefe's permission for reprint. If you didn't know, copyright violation is not well taken in blogosphere.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 06:30PM | 0 recs
Second fair use issue from ludwig

I'll be forwarding this along.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: why do i have to spend

"why do i have to spend so much time at these sites, over the years,  disproving obama fanboy deceptions?"

Perhaps you are obsessed with all-consuming hatred for the man?

by mikeinsf 2009-12-22 10:35PM | 0 recs
this is why we lost PO

Too many people ignored the policy differences between Obama and Clinton, or pretended she was more conservative.

Clinton consistently pointed out through the primary that the private insurance market was inherently broken and that to reform health care we must have an individual mandate and a broad based public option. Obama dissented on those two points. That was the major HCR difference between them.

Going back now and pretending those differences never existed is how progressives lose. We can't achieve progressive change unless we highlight those differences and honestly advocate for the policies we believe in.

by souvarine 2009-12-23 03:50AM | 0 recs
Obama is now lying about his positions

Instead of honestly admitting that the bill working its way through Congress does not fully meet his campaign promises, Obama has decided the proper strategy is to just lie to the American people:

   [Obama] said the Senate legislation accomplishes "95 percent" of what he called for during his 2008 presidential campaign and in his September speech to a joint session of Congress on the need for health-care reform.
    ...
    Obama said the public option "has become a source of ideological contention between the left and right." But, he added, "I didn't campaign on the public option."

This is just a set of bald-faced lies, as I demonstrated in detail earlier this week.

The public option was clearly part of his campaign plan. His campaign plan also promised a national exchange, drug re-importation, an employer mandate, direct Medicare drug price negotiations, to let you keep your current plan if you like it, and to bring down health care costs by $2,500 per year for a family.

The Senate bill will do none of these things.

Obama did promise to not do two very important things with health care reform. He promised to not include an individual mandate and not tax employer-provided health insurance benefits.

This Senate bill breaks both of those promises.

This health care reform fight already made Obama look like a weak leader and a defender of the corporate lobbyists.

Now, it has also made him a liar-one who is discrediting the widely acknowledge need for much greater reform. For all the people in the "we will fix it later" crowd, please notice Obama is not on your side. He thinks this reform bill is just fine as it is.

[Ed. Note: Dave has more evidence of Candidate/President Obama's presto-change-o on "Change."]

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12 22/obama-thinks-lying-to-the-american-p eople-is-the-best-strategy

by jeopardy 2009-12-22 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is now lying about his positions

Thanks for the link to FDL.  That's enlightening.

by lojasmo 2009-12-22 04:17PM | 0 recs
it was in his campaign platform

and it's still on the health care page of Organizing for America's site:

        
Quality, Affordable Choices
If You Don't Have Insurance, the Obama Plan:

   * Creates a new insurance marketplace -- the Exchange -- that allows people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy insurance at competitive prices.
    * Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance.
    * Provides small businesses tax credits and affordable options for covering employees.
    * Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can't find affordable coverage with a real choice.
    * Immediately offers new, low-cost coverage through a national "high risk" pool to protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin until the new Exchange is created.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-22 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: it was in his campaign platform

That's post-election...  Like commentist, I never recall Obama (or Hillary for that matter) ever publicly talking about a public option.  That doesn't mean it wasn't on his web site, but there's a big difference between having something on the web site and actively campaigning for it, and none of the candidates campaigned on the public option to any degree of significance.

by LordMike 2009-12-22 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: oh god...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/22 818132-Fact-Check:-Obama-DIDNT-Campaig n-on-the-Public-Option

by LordMike 2009-12-22 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: oh god...

That's sad... really sad.  Talk about digging the hole deeper.  I'm reminded of people who defended Obama's FISA vote by saying "he only promised to support a filibuster, he didn't promise to vote against the bill itself!"

If your campaign makes a big production out of rolling out a health care plan and you have press releases and big snazzy brochures that you pass out to all the reporters... yeah, that's called campaigning.  Please, please let's not start defending this unfortunate little misstatement with ridiculous arguments like "just because it's in your campaign's health care plan, that doesn't mean you campaigned on it!"

by Steve M 2009-12-22 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: it was in his campaign platform

That's some parsing you're doing there.  So, there's a big difference between what a candidate says in print and what they focus on in stumpo speeches?  The former should not be considered an issue the candidate campaigned on?  Why then has it been reduced to print?  See, in my world, the candidate's positions are more detailed and cover more issues than the candidate can discuss on the campaign trail.  People don't necessarily want to hear about the intracacies of foreign policy on the stump.  That's where the printed materials are helpful.  I guess it was my school boy error to expect the printed words to count.

You are a shameless fool.

by orestes 2009-12-22 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: it was in his campaign platform

I guess it a depends on what you call "campaigning". If a candidate doesn't mention it in public, to me, that's not campaigning for it. I don't care what his web site says.  Web sites say a lot of things, that's doesn't mean much.  If you aren't making it a significant issue on the campaign trail, you aren't campaigning for it, IMHO.  You may feel differently, but, that's how I see it.

Now, Obama DID campaign for the public option post election, until about August, when he suddenly dropped it.  Perhaps that is what is causing the confusion.

by LordMike 2009-12-22 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: it was in his campaign platform

I am really losing any little respect I had for you with these posts here. I assume you don't care now that you have gotten what you want from the bill, but seriously pay attention to your audience. This shit ain't going to fly.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: it was in his campaign platform

OK.  Let's look at your notion of campaigning.  Am I correct that it includes only those things the candidate chooses to address on the campaign trail.  And I presume it also only includes the actual statements made on the campaign trail- ie, the broad brushstrokes (actual details are rarely fully discussed).  So, am I correct that you would concede Obama "campaigned on" the public option if he mentioned it twice on the stump?  Or how many times does it have to be mentioned for it to count as a campaign issue?  

Then, how do you handle the situtation in which the candidate mentions an issue in a campaign speech and then refers the audience to his/her campaign platform or website?  Is that incorporated by reference or does it fall into the catch-all category of background noise?  

I would really appreciate some clarity on your definition.  Once we sort that out, then we can decide whether Obama did actually campaign on the public option.

by orestes 2009-12-22 03:40PM | 0 recs
Sam Stein clarifies

Did Obama Campaign On The Public Option? Yes But Not Entirely

"The Obama campaign clearly did incorporate the public option into its health care agenda. The then-candidate signed a statement put together by the pro-reform group Health Care for America Now, which included the provision as part of its principles for reform. On issue forms Obama filled out for several publications he pledged to "create a new public health plan for those currently without coverage." His campaign arm, Organizing for America, continues to champion a "public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can't find affordable coverage with a real choice." The White House website says that: "The President believes [public health insurance option] will promote competition, hold insurance companies accountable and assure affordable choices. It is completely voluntary."

It does, indeed, seem fair to say that a public option for insurance coverage was a component of the Obama health care agenda. But exactly how serious a component was it?

An examination of approximately 200 newspaper articles from the campaign, as well as debate transcripts and public speeches shows that Obama spoke remarkably infrequently about creating a government-run insurance program. Indeed, when he initially outlined his health care proposals during a speech before the University of Iowa on March 29, 2007, he described setting up a system that resembles the current Senate compromise - in which private insurers would operate in a non-profit entity that was regulated heavily by a government entity

...

By December 2007, however, Obama clearly had endorsed a government-run option. In a speech at the Iowa Heartland Presidential Forum, the then-Senator declared that if he "were designing a system from scratch" he would "probably move more in the direction of a single-payer plan,"

"But what we have to do right now," Obama added, "is I want to move to make sure that everybody has got coverage as quickly as possible. And I believe that what that means is we expand SCHIP. It means that we extend eligibility for some of the government programs that we have. We set up a government program, as I've described, that everybody can buy into and you can't be excluded because of a pre-existing condition."

In January 2008, meanwhile, Obama submitted an issue form to Ebony Magazine, in which, as the third principle of his health care reform agenda, he promised to "require all employers to contribute toward health coverage for their employees or toward the cost of the public plan."

By that point, the press, commentariat and widely respected health care observers all were reporting the government-run plan as a component of the Obama agenda

...

There are countless other examples as well; but remarkably few other times in which Obama himself was quoted supporting an additional program of government run insurance. His campaign never pushed back on the report. If anything, it seems they clearly constructed a health care strategy that embraced the public option as one of several principles of reform.

It also, however, seems clear that the philosophical attachment of the candidate to the issue was limited. Obama would discuss the public option more frequently once he took office. But on the trail he almost always highlighted other elements of his health care agenda first. As one progressive activist who has worked on health care reform for the past year put it:

"What I think [Obama's] point was [in making his statement to the Washington Post], is true. The public option was not his number one talking point on the trail. Hell, it wasn't even number 12. The public option didn't become the central part of health care reform until after [he entered the White House]."

Clarification (and walk back) by Obama, post haste, is still in order though.
  1. It tarnishes Obama's credibility, which is crucial.
  2. After using the anti-Clinton approach of delegating health care reform to the Legislature, he attempts to take ownership of the process in this interview.
  3. It rubs salt in open progressive wounds.
I would say this is one of the bigger verbal gaffes Obama has made as President.
by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Sam Stein clarifies

That excerpt confirms he campaigned on it.  Do you also take the view that he has to do more to actually campaign on an issue?  If so, I would like you to define for us what constitutes "campaigning on an issue." 

by orestes 2009-12-22 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Sam Stein clarifies

It only counts as campaigned on an issue if we worked hard enough to make it happen.

Remember, Obama says "we should make him do it." That's a direct quote.  It is the hard left's fault that we can not see that he wanted us to push him on anything he said in the campaign.  Therefore, anything that we did not win in the Senate battle can not be considered a "campaign promise." He was just telling us what he wanted us to do. Not what he was going to do for us.

Why aren't you talking about Reid and Pelosi like this? Why are you obsessing over someone as meaningless and helpless as the president of the United States. Don't be so naive about politics.   Next, you will be asking for unicorns.

We know from reading about the Bush, FDR and LBJ administrations that presidents are at the whim of Congress.  We don't want president obama to be anything like Bush. Or else we will end up with Pres. Palin.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: it was in his campaign platform

Not only is it post-election (thus, post-campaign) but it also doesn't mention a public option.

You people are all bat-scat crazy.

by lojasmo 2009-12-22 04:20PM | 0 recs
read it again

This time I'll put part of it in bold:

       
Quality, Affordable Choices
If You Don't Have Insurance, the Obama Plan:

  * Creates a new insurance marketplace -- the Exchange -- that allows people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy insurance at competitive prices.
    * Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance.
    * Provides small businesses tax credits and affordable options for covering employees.
    * Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can't find affordable coverage with a real choice.
    * Immediately offers new, low-cost coverage through a national "high risk" pool to protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin until the new Exchange is created.

The language from the campaign platform was very similar, and I got 101 e-mails from the Obama campaign in 2008 urging me to go read more at BarackObama.com.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-22 05:39PM | 0 recs
At least in the primaries Obama did not

campaign on an universal healthcare plan.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign

Obama didn't want the PO in the first place.

If he wanted the PO, you don't have that as your first negotiating offer. Instead, you trott out single-payer first, so you have some room to move down and still get a PO.

That is negotiation 101. It's not a secret.

SO there's 2 possibilities here:

1) Obama is incompetent when it comes to stuff like negotiations

2) Obama didn't want the PO

I don't think Obama is incompetent.

by jeopardy 2009-12-22 02:02PM | 0 recs
Time to primary this lying sack of manure

The question is who.

by martinlomasney 2009-12-22 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Did Obama Campaign on the Public Option ?

As I wrote above, it is a whopper of a lie. Tom P at Daily Kos does the necessary due diligence from prior reports to illustrate why that is the case:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/1 2/22/818090/-President-Obama:-I-Didnt-Ca mpaign-on-the-Public-Option.-

by bruh3 2009-12-22 02:06PM | 0 recs
Conflicting accounts

The Daily Kos front page has an analysis on how closely Obama kept his promoses on healthcare reform, and some perspective on when the screenshot was taken.So I agree with you it's a falsehood, but I parroting Jerome's "whopper of a lie" is a bit of hyperbole.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign

That's pretty bad.  Of course he campaigned on it.

by Steve M 2009-12-22 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign

Yea, I think we'll see a clarification pretty soon on this. Doesn't look like there's a video though, so no you tube damage to control.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-22 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign

I think the universe of people who would consider this a big deal is fairly limited.  It's not exactly Bill Clinton wagging his finger.  But he didn't do his credibility any favors.

by Steve M 2009-12-22 02:34PM | 0 recs
That's the crux of what I was saying

Of course, it is shameless obottery of me.

The lede on MSNBC is "Obama challenges health care critics"

As you note, it doesn't help his credibility. But I am also upset because of what is going on here: it is an apparently needless slap in the face to progressives.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: That's the crux of what I was saying

I think Obama is making the mistake of getting caught up in defending his own role in the process, when the real task at hand is defending the merits of the legislation.

People want to hear what's in the bill that will help them.  They want to hear responses to the criticisms and talking points.  With very limited exceptions, they just don't care whether Obama fought passionately for the public option or whether he accomplished every item on his personal laundry list of reforms or whatever.  It's a big distraction for the President to get caught up in defending himself personally.

by Steve M 2009-12-22 03:41PM | 0 recs
Agreed

And mind you, his role was simply to be the anti-Clinton; to let the Legislature handle the matter and to have the Executive remain out of it as long as possible. Scratch the surface, and this was an ill-advised move on his part. Regardless, it is against the backdrop of the historic Senate passage in 36 hours, so it will cycle out of the news quickly.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:47PM | 0 recs
That's total bullshit.

Obama ran hard against mandates, and yet the insurance companies, who arranged for him to get the nomination, want mandates. He can't campaign for them without the gOP running his own commercials against Clinton against him. He's utterly impotent as president.

by glitterannebegay 2009-12-22 04:08PM | 0 recs
That's a new one

Insuance Companies arranged for him to get the nomination...they'll let people say just about anything on a blog nowadays, won't they?

by ND22 2009-12-22 04:16PM | 0 recs
Well-informed people

which pretty much eliminates anyone who thinks Obama is an acceptable candidate for a Democratic president, know that James Roosevelt, who is the CEO of a health insurance organization, is the head of the Democratic Rules and bylaws committee and presided over the decision to dock Michigan and Florida half the delegates that they would seat in Denver, and awarded Obama four of the delegates Hillary won in Michigan as well as all of the uncommitted delegates. Without those decisions, had the votes simply been counted as they were cast, Clinton would have been the nominee.

And remarkably, James Roosevelt is getting the exact plan that he spelled out that he wanted in an editorial. Wonders never cease.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editor ial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/04/09/hea lthcare_lets_build_on_what_we_know/

And no, this isn't about Hillary. It's about Obama and how he became the nominee.

Obama is as corrupt as Bush. There's no getting around. 40k Americans will die early each year because that putz is president. That's more Americans than Bush killed in Iraq.

by glitterannebegay 2009-12-22 07:03PM | 0 recs
LMFAO

This place has really gone to shit, sad.

by ND22 2009-12-23 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Agreed

...this was an ill-advised move on his part.

Short-term, definitely.  Long term, I'm not so sure.  This course of action has shined a massive spotlight on all the snags, hiccoughs, and fuck-ups on the SNAFU that is our legislative process.  I'm not saying that it was intentional, or part of some eleventy-dimensional chess strategy, but it has certainly underscored the more serious flaws -- and it has folks from all across the spectrum paying attention and wanting 'more change'.  Has anyone else noticed an uptick in talk about campaign finance reform, term limits, and the specter of corpratism?  I sure have.

Who knows?  Maybe Obama will be, as a result of his failures and misteps, the catalyst for fixing a broken system.  In the interim, focusing on Obama and all the disappointment he doles out instead mounting a strong progressive flank to presssure the Administration to do the right thing (and support them when they do) strikes me as a pathetic waste of time.

Then again, the Democratic Party is what it is, I guess.

by fogiv 2009-12-22 04:16PM | 0 recs
should and "federal system"...

don't mean a pledge for the public option.

I'm not saying that what Obama said was right. In fact, I clearly saying the opposite: he hasn't done himself any favors here.

But in your breathless attempt to nail him on something, anything, by digging around on right wing sites, you're not doing your credibility any favors.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: should and "federal system"...

I think your claim that his credibility is compromised because he found the video on a right wing website is out of line.  the video speaks for itself.  Youcan try to parse it (as you do), but to try to discredit valid evidence because you don't like where it was archived is ridiculous.

by orestes 2009-12-22 03:44PM | 0 recs
It sure does

Did you watch it?
Do you want me to dictate it here for you?

I'm not indicting ludwig because he has, in the past, engaged in trollish behavior, has confessed to multiple sock puppets on this site, who has engaged in misogynistic remarks and stalking behavior, and has confessed to returning to the site with a different username.

He's actually been behaving himself quite well today.

I'm indicting his credibility because the video he posted does not say what ludwig says it does. Obama doesn't promise a public option. It says he hopes that there will be a federal program of some sorts. And isn't that what we're getting?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: It sure does

Why don't you simple write "look over there!" and point in another direction.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: It sure does

I figured LudwigVan was your sock, and so he might have been pointing at you.

by lojasmo 2009-12-22 04:28PM | 0 recs
the bruh =/= ludwig

No, there is a distinct French Canadienne style of writing from ludwig and his sock puppets, and he often forgets which account he is using and responds as if he is another.

Also, the bruh can't tolerate a dissenting opinions and/or praise of Obama and walks away. Ludwig doesn't seem to care so much about dissenting views, but his hatred for Obama is far more passionate.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: It sure does

You got me! I would have gotten away with it if weren't for you pesky kids.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 05:51PM | 0 recs
In GE he might have, but during the primaries

that was a big difference between him and HRC who actually campaigned on a form of universal healthcare with mandates. Obama resisted the mandate and thus didn't achieve full universal healthcare for the uninsured under his plan.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: In GE he might have, but during the primaries

It wasn't universal, but there definitely was a public option from day one.  Look here.

by Steve M 2009-12-22 04:38PM | 0 recs
Did this document come out during GE or

primaries?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Did this document come out during GE or

That was the campaign's original health care plan from 2007.

by Steve M 2009-12-22 05:02PM | 0 recs
Okay agreed he did mention public plan in his

2007 document.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 05:11PM | 0 recs
I just have one question

What are his convictions?

Okay, two.

What is he willing fight for?

The who is obvious. It's corporations.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-22 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I just have one question

well, he twisted progressive arms regarding war funding.

So he's willing to fight for that.

by jeopardy 2009-12-22 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I just have one question

It's obviously more than just Obama.

At some point, people like me are going to give up on the Democratic party. The problem is that we have nowhere to go.

To answer Jerome's question I don't know. I never got the feeling that a public option was a central part of his healthcare proposals but neither was a mandate. And the only way a mandate really works is with a public option.

Obama was dragged to the left by Edwards and Clinton. Apparently, it was a transitory stop and not a destination.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-22 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I just have one question

Which is why I do not expect things to change anymore. That both parties are captured by corporate interests is no longer in doubt. I don't care whether someone is supporting this bill or other forms of corporate influence because they are truly bad faith actors or because they are enablers of bad faith actors- the result as we are seeing is the same. I have already given up on the Democrats. i really do think one or the other parties will be gone in a decade or two because two right wing parties is not sustainable in this electorate.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I just have one question

You're an evil duopolist!  That's precious!

by lojasmo 2009-12-22 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I just have one question

Well, now that I have been called evil that about sums up the state of fringe support for the president. You forgot to add doer as in "Evil doer" That would complete the circle.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: I just have one question

No, it's the duopoly that is evil.  You are one who subscribes to the theory that neither party is worth supporting because both are evil.

Not calling you evil, though I think you're somewhat mendacious.

by lojasmo 2009-12-28 12:04PM | 0 recs
Charles, you're absolutely right.

Thus I don't think Obama is saying anything wrong. Unlike HRC, he never promised universal coverage and  opposed mandates. That was the difference in the proposals that HRC and Obama put forth. I don't know what the big hullabaloo is all about what he said today?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-22 04:36PM | 0 recs
The big deal is that he lied.

He said he didn't campaign on the public option yet it was part of his platform. You cannot have something as part of your platform, and claim you didn't campaign on it.

I never thought he was sincere either, but he didn't say,  "look, you knew I was lying sack of shit from the get go, so what the fuck?" He said he didn't campaign on it and that's a lie. He did.

by glitterannebegay 2009-12-22 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I just have one question

Forgive me, Charles. Don't mean to jump on a divisive thread willy nilly, but can we just get beyond the binary 'you're either with the corporations or against them line'.

It's quite clear through the healthcare process, that thanks to the US system, lobbyists and their corporate clients can get an inordinate amount of traction in the US legislative process. From financial regulation to healthcare reform, the corporate voice is very powerful.

By putting through legislation that has to negative or co-opt these corporate interests, is Obama 'on the side the corporations', or merely - like most politicians - trying to push through what he can without losing key coalitions.

There's a lot to be written about corporate America, and a lot that's already been said. The idea that the democratic party was ever going to challenge American capitalism at its core is frankly ludicrous. To call out Obama or the democratic party for this is just a recipe for self immolation.

Coming from a European left background, I'm equally aware of the danger of the corporate interests of government, and find that state capitalism has little to recommend it to corporate capitalism: the interests may be a little more accountable, but the monopoly is near perfect.

But corporate interests do not converge in some ZOG like conspiracy. Different sectors compete with each other, as well as different players within a sector. Insurance and financial services also provide employment, can be broken up by firmer anti trust laws, can be regulated more heavily, and - with reform of corporation law - can be made more answerable to their shareholders.

There are many routes to mitigating corporate power in the US and beyond, without resorting to an apocalyptic world where hope explodes into despair.

A lot of this comes down, I think, to the effects of the credit crunch, and the realisation for a whole generation that some of the underlying premises of the economy in the last 25 years were flawed. We're still undergoing a crisis in neo classical economics and Reaganomics; an ideology which has basically dominated Anglo Saxon thinking for over a quarter of a century.

What can replace or mitigate that, a wider appreciation of human development and wealth beyond the absentee landlord form of capitalism we have today, is an urgent priority. There are elements of Obama's thinking and organisation, especially what he has derived from Alinsky, which could be useful here.

That, when it comes to the corporate and capitalist priorities dominating congress, he has failed to overturn 30 years of tradition in one year, comes as no surprise. My question to you and many here, a sincere question which I don't pretend I know the exact answer to, is how to keep things progressing (which they have).

Do accusations of betrayal, threats to leave the democratic party, actually constitute an effective left wing lobby pressure on a centrist government? Or do such manoeuvres actually undermine the progress claims to adherence from the Obama administration?

Surely these are the sort of discussions you should be having on the left, rather than accusing your leaders of betrayal.

by brit 2009-12-23 01:57AM | 0 recs
Broken Promises regarding Health Care Reform

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12 21/senate-health-care-bill-is-built-on- obamas-broken-promises

The following is a list of all the promises broken:

Promise:

   Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year.

The CBO has concluded that premiums for employer-provided insurance will not drop by anything close to $2,500 per year. Without reforms like drug re-importation, direct government drug price negotiations, a robust public option, or a central provider reimbursement negotiator, I see no way this reduction can happen with the Senate bill.

The Senate bill also breaks the key promise that "you can keep the insurance you have." The excise tax in the Senate bill is designed to make your health insurance worse. It will force your employer to select plans with less coverage and higher co-pays.

If you are one of the roughly 30 million Americans in 2016 who's insurance will be lessened because of the excise tax, your current health insurance will definitely change for the worse.

Obama attacked John McCain throughout the campaign because his plan would tax your health insurance benefits. Now Obama is going back on his key distinction from John McCain by promoting a bill that does in fact tax your health insurance benefits.
_____-

Promise:

   Barack Obama and Joe Biden's new National Health Insurance Exchange will also help increase competition by insurers.

The Senate bill will use state-based exchanges. This is not some minor technical distinction. By using state-based exchanges, it relies on state insurance commissioners to enforce the new regulations.

State insurance commissioners do not have a good track record policing the insurance companies. They often lack the power, funding, or will to hold them accountable. Regulation without strong enforcement is meaningless.
______

Promise:

   Allow consumers to import safe drugs from other countries. The second-fastest growing type of health expenses is prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies should profit when their research and development results in a groundbreaking new drug.

But some companies are exploiting Americans by dramatically overcharging U.S. consumers. These companies are selling the exact same drugs in Europe and Canada but charging Americans a 67 percent premium. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will allow Americans to buy their medicines from other developed countries if the drugs are safe and prices are lower outside the U.S.

This is a pure broken promise. Obama traded it away to PhRMA as part of a secret backroom deal (which itself breaks another promise: to make all negotiations public on C-SPAN). He actively worked to kill drug re-importation when it had a real chance of being added to the bill.
______

Promise:

   Allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices. The 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act bans the government from negotiating down the prices of prescription drugs, even though the Department of Veterans Affairs' negotiation of prescription drug prices with drug companies has garnered significant savings for taxpayers.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings, which could be as high as $30 billion, to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality.

Again, this is another broken promise that was part of Obama's secret sweetheart deal with PhRMA.
______

Promise:

   Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan or an approved private plan... The Exchange will require that all the plans offered are at least as generous as the new public plan and meet the same standards for quality and efficiency.

There is no public option in the Senate bill. In the health care system that Obama promise the public option was not just some "small sliver." It was going to be the benchmark against which all private plans would need to be measured.
_____

Promise:

   Affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Participants will be charged fair premiums and minimal co-pays for deductibles for preventive services.

I do not believe the subsidized premiums are affordable and the subsidies are only for the 70% actuarial plans. Plans with this low of an actuarial will likely have high co-pays and deductibles.
________

Promise:

   EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION. Large employers that do not offer meaningful coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan. Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement.

The Senate bill does not have a real employer mandate based on payroll. It only has a small "free rider" provision. Because of the lack of a real employer mandate, the amount of employer-provided coverage will drop by $5 million.

Other promises not part of the official campaign plan document:

During the 2008 primary campaign, Obama really pushed that a key distinction between Hillary Clinton and himself was that he promised not to include an individual mandate in his reform package. This bill has an individual mandate.

Obama attacked John McCain for planning to tax health insurance benefits. This bill taxes employer provide benefits.

Candidate Obama promised to make the negotiations public, and, clearly, that did not happen.
________

To recap: the Senate bill taxes benefits and will result in millions of Americans' insurance plans changing for the worse. It is not expected to bring down premiums by $2,500 a year.

There is an individual mandate forcing you to buy private health insurance, but no real employer mandate.

The subsidies will be insufficient to truly make insurance affordable.

It does not create a national exchange or a public option.

It does not allow for drug re-importation or direct drug price negotiations by Medicare. All the negotiations were conducted in secret, and clearly to the detriment of the American consumer.

It is a massive rollback of women's reproductive rights, something Obama promised to defend vigorously.

These are not minor changes. These are core promises of the Obama campaign.

This Senate health care reform bill is nothing like what Obama campaigned on.

Obama's two biggest campaign promises about health care reform-that he repeated over and over again (no individual mandate and no taxes on employer-provided heath insurance)-were both completely broken.

If Ezra Klein wants to argue this is still a good bill, he has that right, but he should not try to re-write history. I studied Obama's campaign promises closely during the campaign, and this is nothing like the health care reform he promised. He did almost everything he promised he would not do, and he kept almost nothing of his most progressive promises to stand up to the powerful industry lobbies.

by jeopardy 2009-12-22 02:25PM | 0 recs
Damaging in the long run

If he just would admit that this was not something that was important to him, I would at least respect that. I would remain neutral if he simply just moved on and spun it as moving on. But, what I don't find accept is the lying he has been doing not just with this, but on how this bill produces cost containment. This is the second whopper in as many weeks he has put out there on this subject. I don't see the point of telling these whoppers. Steve M above may be right that no one cares right now, but this sort of behavior eventually comes back to bite administrations in the ass. Eventually , if he keeps this up, and it becomes widely known- it cripples not just as administration, but his future chances in 2012 and the party in general. Right now, this is small, but he needs people telling him to telling these whoopers is not good.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Damaging in the long run

The bill does produce significant cost containment on various levels.  People refuse to believe that, but just bringing more people into the system alone reduces costs significantly by eliminating the excess costs of the uninsured being placed upon the rest of us.

I'm planning to write a diary AFTER the bill passes with a complete analysis.  In the meantime, Ezra Klein has a few words of his own on the subject.

Honestly, people are really reaching here... Obama did campaign extensively for the public option, but that was in 2009.  In 2008, if it was mentioned at all, it was in passing.  It certainly was not the centerpiece of his campaign.

by LordMike 2009-12-22 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Damaging in the long run

I am not interested in anything you have to write at this point.  

by bruh3 2009-12-22 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Damaging in the long run

Then don't read it.

by LordMike 2009-12-22 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Damaging in the long run

Then why are you here?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Damaging in the long run

Logic 101: If there are more posters than Lord Mike along a thread, does that mean that Bruh's sole reason for being him MUST be Lord Mike? Before you parse, the question I just asked did not happen after the campaign.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 04:10PM | 0 recs
Ah, the Presidential campaign of 200

I remember it like it was yesterday. Chinese warlord Cao Cao defeats Yuan Shao in the battle of Guandu, and the immortal Al Gore against was running against Septimus Severus of Rome.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah, the Presidential campaign of 200

Wasnt Lu Bu behind all that?

by fogiv 2009-12-22 03:29PM | 0 recs
And cries of disenfranchisement...

...echoed throughout the Eastern Han Dynasty.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah, the Presidential campaign of 200

wow, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" references?

Didn't think I'd see that here.

by jeopardy 2009-12-22 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah, the Presidential campaign of 200

Why not, eh?  Stranger things...

by fogiv 2009-12-22 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah, the Presidential campaign of 200

 Has anyone else had a strange case of nostalgia for the WoW guy? I can't put a finger on why....

by QTG 2009-12-23 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama:

OMG!

You mean we won't all be able to enroll in the same plan that Senator Obama was able to enroll in as a member of Congress?

Ya don't say!!???

LOL!

Obama supporters were drinking the kool-aide.

I find it hilarious that is us pragmatic Clinton supports are now the one defending Obama from the Obamamaniacs.

.... Hey Obamamaniacs give us all a good laugh and tell us there isn't "a dimes worth of difference" between Obama and McCain.

Sheesh.   Sometimes I admire Republicans.   At least they wouldn't cave on their guy 11 months in.

by RichardFlatts 2009-12-22 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama:

Well, its best to approach these things with a taste of the ironic and a dash of the sarcasm.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-22 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama:

I am sick of watching us try and wrestle defeat from the jaws of victory.

Heck the Republicans are morons and even they managed to hang on to power for 4 years.   We are doing are best to give it away in 2.

by RichardFlatts 2009-12-22 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on

I guess I'm not entirely crazy...

"An examination of approximately 200 newspaper articles from the campaign, as well as debate transcripts and public speeches shows that Obama spoke remarkably infrequently about creating a government-run insurance program. Indeed, when he initially outlined his health care proposals during a speech before the University of Iowa on March 29, 2007, he described setting up a system that resembles the current Senate compromise - in which private insurers would operate in a non-profit entity that was regulated heavily by a government entity....

It also, however, seems clear that the philosophical attachment of the candidate to the issue was limited. Obama would discuss the public option more frequently once he took office. But on the trail he almost always highlighted other elements of his health care agenda first. As one progressive activist who has worked on health care reform for the past year put it:

"What I think [Obama's] point was [in making his statement to the Washington Post], is true. The public option was not his number one talking point on the trail. Hell, it wasn't even number 12. The public option didn't become the central part of health care reform until after [he entered the White House]."
"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/22 /did-obama-campaign-on-the_n_401204.html

by LordMike 2009-12-22 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on

Piece advice. You rbest as people representing the WH is to not come online fanning the fires of the lie. Just say the president made a mistake or walk back from the comment. Stop double downing. It's not going to help.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on

He made a mistake.
He needs to walk back the comment.

A.S.A.P.

But there is some merit to the argument that it wasn't central to the campaign.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on

And if you and the others with your lips oh so firmly pressed on his ass were actually more interested in discussion than "Must protect Obama all cost" derangement syndrome, you would realize that the point is not to defend such absurd statements, but instead to reach for some kind of truth of the matter. You are not doing him any favors here.

Contra to what you want to believe, I don't want this presidency to fail. But I have different ideas of what constitutes success than you do. I don't blame myself when he fucks  up like you do. I don't try to explain it away. I expect better because we can not longer afford the politics of personality and low expectations.

One sure way to do that  and for him to fail is to start lying as he has been doing on this and the discussion of cost containment.  Just tell the damn truth even if it is a small hit. Once you lose the public, you lose them. Ask Bush.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 04:16PM | 0 recs
I think you're obsessed with the guy

Seriously, everything is about Obama. Everyone who argues with you is an O-bot. I'd like you to point me to an instance where you can tolerate a dissenting (and positive) point of view about Obama without resorting to name calling.

P.S.: Obama's poll numbers have been ticking upwards this week.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you're obsessed with the guy

I can google your screenname to find it on mulitple sites attacking anyone who mentions Obama even cursorily in their post.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 05:23PM | 0 recs
Go ahead! Google it!

Please!

Of course, you're lying. I must have really gotten to you badly to force you into a terrible lie like that; a terrible lie you now can't back up ;) And I must say that I am even ashamed for you. I really expect better out of you.

This is your problem, bruh. You make everything about you. Anyone who disagrees with you is out to get you. You can't tolerate a different point of view, so everyone who disagrees with you is some inhuman obot or something.

So not only will I challenge you to provide links to me attacking other users on other sites, but I will again challenge you to provide one instance where you can tolerate someone else's dissenting opinion.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Go ahead! Google it!

The weird thing is that you probably don't think you sound nuts.

by bruh3 2009-12-22 05:43PM | 0 recs
Don't change the subject

You said you had links to me attacking other people who dare (dared!) question Obama on other sites, and if you tell the truth, you will back that accusation up.

I've also challenged you to find one instance (only one) where you tolerate a dissenting point of view favorable of President Obama. Okay, heck. Just a dissenting point of view. I don't want to make it to hard on you.

Go ahead. Back your claims up.

Or can't you?

Here it is again, for posterity's sake:

"...I can google your screenname to find it on mulitple sites attacking anyone who mentions Obama even cursorily in their post..."
You're giving the anti-Obama left a bad name here.
by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Go ahead! Google it!

Would that you experienced such high dudgeon at lies from the president.

by orestes 2009-12-22 07:06PM | 0 recs
So what, bruh is lying?

Is that what you're saying?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 07:59PM | 0 recs
Re: So what, bruh is lying?

That is your contention.  I am merely commenting on your outraged reaction and comparing it to your reaction to the president's lie.  I thought that would be apparent.

by orestes 2009-12-23 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on

Please.  The public option was right there in big print in his original health care plan, the one his campaign rolled out in 2007 to great fanfare.  We discussed it ad nauseum here at MyDD, along with the Clinton and Edwards plans.  We're not cherry-picking some random footnote that an aide put on a website somewhere.

"I didn't campaign on the public option" means something quite different from "it wasn't the focal point of my campaign" or "I mentioned it in speeches only infrequently." No one is going to be persuaded to abandon their common sense by these attempts at redefinition and parsing.  It's just not worth it.

by Steve M 2009-12-22 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on

Steve,

Not doubting the fact it was an element of his and Hillary's healthcare plans, and maybe it was just me being blind, but I spent a lot of time debating the healthcare plans. Everything seemed to be about mandates. There was not great discussion of the Public Option. In fact, as a Brit, I was pushing for single payer universal healthcare, but the predominant talk was that this was a bit of a dream, and that wider coverage was the first step.

I'm not claiming Obama hasn't spoken with both sides of his mouth - what politician doesn't renege on one promise in the legislative heat of battle? But the idea that the PO was a central plank of his campaign does not accord with my memory.

If he suddenly announced a withdrawal from Afghanistan, or tried to legalise torture, or nationalised all the banks, withdrew support for Israel (or increased it), threatened to deport all illegal immigrants, elevated executive power in defiance of the constitution, made gay marriage mandatory in all states, then yes, these would be overturning some of the central planks of his campaign.

But I remember him promising healthcare reform and wider coverage. My guess that's what the public heard too, and - though radically falling short of what I personally would recommend - this is what they're getting.

My bet is that they'll see this as a promise delivered.

The US system of checks and balances seems to me to be radically malfunctioning in the modern era of sophisticated lobbying and corporate campaign finance. Does this need to be reformed? You bet. Is this all Obama's fault. Clearly not. Is he completely captured by these corporate interests, and has been deceiving us all along with the liberal parts of his mainly centrist approach?

Some people have made their minds up on the latter, after merely a year of governance. I certainly haven't.

Best wishes for the festive season BTW.

by brit 2009-12-23 02:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: "I Didn't Campaign on

I think this is less about a broken campaign promise and more about how he said something yesterday - "I didn't campaign on the public option" - that just isn't true.  I mean, no need to rely on memory.  When his campaign rolled out the Obama health care plan in spring 2007, the public option was right in there.

For what it's worth, I do remember discussing the topic right here at MyDD.  You're right that we didn't spend as much time on it, perhaps because we tended to debate the things the candidates disagreed on much moreso than the points of agreement.

As I said somewhere above, I think Obama's real mistake here is not that he misremembered or told a fib, it's that he's wasting time defending his own role in the process when it's the bill itself that needs his advocacy.  Very few people care whether Obama gave 100% in support of the public option or 50% or 10%, mostly they care about whether we have a good bill.

by Steve M 2009-12-23 04:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Desperate much?

 Tell me a lie. Tell me you don't hate Obama.

by QTG 2009-12-22 04:39PM | 0 recs
I think this thread is significant and has merit

It symbolizes, in my opinion, the anger over apparent progressive rejection.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 04:42PM | 0 recs
Breaking: Nurses Union against Senate Bill

http://workinprogress.firedoglake.com/20 09/12/22/nurses-union-senate-bill-isnt-r eal-health-reform/

The National Nurses United, a brand new union created earlier this month and the largest professional group of nurses in the country, officially opposes the Senate health care bill.  NNU, a member of the AFL-CIO, slammed the Senate bill as a giveaway to the insurance industry that falls far short of real reform.

   National Nurses United, the nation's largest registered nurses union and professional organization, declared on Tuesday that the Senate health care bill gives away too much to insurance companies and "fails to meet the test of true health care reform."

   "It is tragic to see the promise from Washington this year for genuine, comprehensive reform ground down to a seriously flawed bill that could actually exacerbate the health care crisis and financial insecurity for American families, and that cedes far too much additional power to the tyranny of a callous insurance industry," said co-president Karen Higgins in a statement.

   "Sadly, we have ended up with legislation that fails to meet the test of true health care reform, guaranteeing high quality, cost effective care for all Americans, and instead are further locking into place a system that entrenches the chokehold of the profit-making insurance giants on our health. If this bill passes, the industry will become more powerful and could be beyond the reach of reform for generations," she added.

NNU is the first major union to flat-out oppose the Senate's health care bill.  While the union supports a single-payer health care system - indeed, at least one of its founding unions, the California Nurses Association, has a long history of fighting for single payer - it tied its opposition of the bill to 10 major shortfalls that will likely appear in the final bill.  Several of their points of opposition echo FDL's 10 reasons to vote against the senate bill.

   1. The individual mandate forcing all those without coverage to buy private insurance, with insufficient cost controls on skyrocketing premiums and other insurance costs.

   2. No challenge to insurance company monopolies, especially in the top 94 metropolitan areas where one or two companies dominate, severely limiting choice and competition.

   3. An affordability mirage. Congressional Budget Office estimates say a family of four with a household income of $54,000 would be expected to pay 17 percent of their income, $9,000, on healthcare exposing too many families to grave financial risk.

   4. The excise tax on comprehensive insurance plans which will encourage employers to reduce benefits, shift more costs to employees, promote proliferation of high-deductible plans, and lead to more self-rationing of care and medical bankruptcies, especially as more plans are subject to the tax every year due to the lack of adequate price controls. A Towers-Perrin survey in September found 30 percent of employers said they would reduce employment if their health costs go up, 86 percent said they'd pass the higher costs to their employees.

   5. Major loopholes in the insurance reforms that promise bans on exclusion for pre-existing conditions, and no cancellations for sickness.

   7. Inadequate limits on drug prices, especially after Senate rejection of an amendment, to protect a White House deal with pharmaceutical giants, allowing pharmacies and wholesalers to import lower-cost drugs.

   9. Reduced reproductive rights for women.

 10. No single standard of care. Our multi-tiered system remains with access to care still determined by ability to pay. Nothing changes in basic structure of the system; healthcare remains a privilege, not a right.

"Desperation to pass a bill, regardless of its flaws, has made the White House and Congress subject to the worst political extortion and new, crippling concessions every day," Burger said.

"NNU and nurses will continue to work with the thousands of grassroots activists across the nation to campaign for the best reform, which would be to expand Medicare to cover everyone, the same type of system working more effectively in every other industrial country. The day of that reform will come," said Ross.

by jeopardy 2009-12-22 05:05PM | 0 recs
Who ELSE is to blame?

I know that this isn't exactly a hotbed of Obama support these days. I, as an ardent supporter of Obama, will even admit that this sucks pretty badly. I am unhappy.

But what I want to know is this- where is the outrage directed at Harry Reid. Where is the outrage directed at Baucus, or Nelson, or Leiberman?

I am angry, and I am disillusioned. I worked HARD last year to get this guy elected. I got fired by the SEIU the day after Election Day (as did everyone else on my project...)AND I believed that we were turning things around...

Yes, Obama is partly to blame. But where is the indignation at every other Democrat who turned their back on us? Obama is not in the Senate anymore...and this is the Senate Bill and it sucks. Can we start yelling at the Senators who made this happen yet?

by JDF 2009-12-22 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Who ELSE is to blame?

You are the first person I have heard argue that there is not enough outrage directed at Joe Lieberman on the blogs!

by Steve M 2009-12-22 05:27PM | 0 recs
I didn't write enough posts

this year slamming Baucus for you?

Seriously, I think it's becoming clear that Obama absented himself when he might have made a difference with these few jackasses. The other day when Obama went to the Senate to give them a "pass this bill" pep talk, he didn't even bring up the public option, to Joe Lieberman's delight.

If I felt Obama had gone to the mat on this and come up a little short, I wouldn't feel so betrayed. The buck stops with the president.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-22 05:49PM | 0 recs
Half 'n half

"I think it's becoming clear that Obama absented himself when he might have made a difference with these few jackasses..."
I don't know if there's any evidence he could have made a difference, but...
"If I felt Obama had gone to the mat on this and come up a little short, I wouldn't feel so betrayed."
...this sentiment no one can argue with.

I don't know if it would have had any effect. But I previously labeled the Administration's approach as doing the politics of the achievable versus the politics of the possible.

I am curious to see the final outcome when all the dust settles (we still have conference), and here the Administration's take on whether more work is necessary.

But I do believe the PO is a canard. The real need is for cost control and competition. A watered down PO is just a really bad way of doing that.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 06:25PM | 0 recs
If he'd gone to the mat...

on this it's possible, perhaps even probable, that it would have sunk the entire bill. I still don't understand what people expect him to have done to sway Lieberman and Nelson.

What I find really odd is how first he was getting flak for entertaining Snowe's triggered public option, and  then Reid was a hero and Obama was the villain because he wasn't sure that Reid to muster 60 democratic votes for any sort of public option, and now the same people on the blogs are going after Obama for... well, I'm not quite sure what for. He went in front of congress and asked for a public option. They didn't give him one. I'd love to hear what everyone's plan is for getting Lieberman to magically cooperate.

by dtox 2009-12-22 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: If he'd gone to the mat...

This isn't a reality based community, you know :)

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 07:09AM | 0 recs
I think the anger is justified

Of course, a lot of the anger from the constant detractors can be subtracted. These people have an axe to grind over the primaries, or whatnot, and are willing to take a cheap shot when they can get one. Anyone remember Rev. Wright, and how Obama could never carry PA, OH, and MI int he general? I thought so.

But returning to those whose opinion actually matters...

1. I think a good deal of this anger is about being owed something in return. Progressives elected Obama. They made the PO their pony. It's a modest pony. And they expect to be granted it in return for their support.

2. I think progressive wrongly projected a lot of themselves and their progressive beliefs on to Obama. His campaign rhetoric certainly didn't help dissuade that delusion. Reality would inevitably clash with that fantasy. First the letdown. Then the anger.

3. I believe the progressive community has not been dealing with reality since January 20th. I know it hurts to say that, but sometimes, the truth hurts. There was outrage over Afghanistan, but there was never an alternate strategy articulated with social, economic, political, and military consequences remotely detailed. Pull out? Okay. I'd love to. Then what would happen to the region and the world? Reality, folks.

4. I believe there was a real underestimation of the forces working against progressives in healthcare reform? We're powerful. But disorganized, our efforts don't amount to a hill of beans compared to the lobbying efforts. We got the country to discuss the public option for the first time, but that's about it. And when you realize you aren't as powerful as you think you are, you're going to take that anger out on someone. Obama, who has already transgressed against you, is a convenient mark. Astroturf got 10,000 people to show up and rally against health care reform. Jane Hamsher got 500 people to show up. Once. I am a firm believer in famous dKos diarist thereisnospoon's essay. Heck, I even wrote my first diary here pondering why no one was mobilizing for the public option.

5. Progressives have viewed the health care debate in black and white, which is one of the most disturbing developments I've witnessed. You are either for the PO, or you're against it. Harry Reid used to be quite the punching bag and the subject of innumerable attacks on dKos. He was called dingy Harry, weak, and ineffectual. But once he feigned support for the PO, he was the good guy, and someone then had to be the bad guy. Where'd the argument about kicking Lieberman out of the caucus go? Gosh we move on quickly. I think Obama would rather be the bad guy to the progressive community than Harry Reid.

Those are just my thoughts.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I think the anger is justified

Oh, brother, your usual blame the progressives routine.  Can you get a new act?  

The problem with his statement is that he denying that he proposed a public option during the campaign, as if that exonerates him from any criticism regarding the senate bill.  That is a serious problem, in my view.  And I think many Americans respond that way.  That is not the fault of the progressives, no matter how much you may want to wish it were so.  

by orestes 2009-12-22 07:13PM | 0 recs
Better to blame everybody but yourself

What did you do for the Public Option? Cry about its demise on a blog? Is that it? Do you think you were owed this?

And no one, including me, is saying it isn't a problem, or letting the President off the hook for this. So let's stop putting words in other peoples' mouths, m'kay?

As for how big of a problem it is, well, Rev. Wright, as noted above, was supposed to be a "big problem", and let's look how that turned out.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Better to blame everybody but yourself

What I did to promote the public option is not the issue.  You are trying to deflect from the issue by making an ad hominem attack.  More importantly, I do not answer to you for my actions.

Stop trying to have it both ways.  The clear implication of your screed (and it's not new from you) is that any disappointment or anger felt by the left regarding Obama's handling of HCR and his gaffe yesterday is our own fault.  

I love your call not to put words in other people's mouths, yet your entire post was about ascribing motives, reactions, etc. to the entire progressive movement.  Do you ever stop to reflect on your words?  It might do you some good.

by orestes 2009-12-23 06:13AM | 0 recs
I think the anger is justified

Of course, a lot of the anger from the constant detractors can be subtracted. These people have an axe to grind over the primaries, or whatnot, and are willing to take a cheap shot when they can get one. Anyone remember Rev. Wright, and how Obama could never carry PA, OH, and MI int he general? I thought so.

But returning to those whose opinion actually matters...

1. I think a good deal of this anger is about being owed something in return. Progressives elected Obama. They made the PO their pony. It's a modest pony. And they expect to be granted it in return for their support.

2. I think progressive wrongly projected a lot of themselves and their progressive beliefs on to Obama. His campaign rhetoric certainly didn't help dissuade that delusion. Reality would inevitably clash with that fantasy. First the letdown. Then the anger.

3. I believe the progressive community has not been dealing with reality since January 20th. I know it hurts to say that, but sometimes, the truth hurts. There was outrage over Afghanistan, but there was never an alternate strategy articulated with social, economic, political, and military consequences remotely detailed. Pull out? Okay. I'd love to. Then what would happen to the region and the world? Reality, folks.

4. I believe there was a real underestimation of the forces working against progressives in healthcare reform? We're powerful. But disorganized, our efforts don't amount to a hill of beans compared to the lobbying efforts. We got the country to discuss the public option for the first time, but that's about it. And when you realize you aren't as powerful as you think you are, you're going to take that anger out on someone. Obama, who has already transgressed against you, is a convenient mark. Astroturf got 10,000 people to show up and rally against health care reform. Jane Hamsher got 500 people to show up. Once. I am a firm believer in famous dKos diarist thereisnospoon's essay. Heck, I even wrote my first diary here pondering why no one was mobilizing for the public option.

5. Progressives have viewed the health care debate in black and white, which is one of the most disturbing developments I've witnessed. You are either for the PO, or you're against it. Harry Reid used to be quite the punching bag and the subject of innumerable attacks on dKos. He was called dingy Harry, weak, and ineffectual. But once he feigned support for the PO, he was the good guy, and someone then had to be the bad guy. Where'd the argument about kicking Lieberman out of the caucus go? Gosh we move on quickly. I think Obama would rather be the bad guy to the progressive community than Harry Reid.

Those are just my thoughts.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-22 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama:

I thought Obama was a solid progressive, the evidence so far suggests otherwise.

This centrist positioning by Obama doesn't seem to be working. Not a single Republican Senator came onboard, Democratic poll numbers are sinking and the right-wing is mad as hell (not to mention the left).  

I've seen a few things in the media wondering where Obama's movement has gone. I think the question should be is where has the movement's Obama gone?

by liberalj 2009-12-23 12:11AM | 0 recs
Obama neutered the public option

Yes, Obama was misleading during the campaign about the public option and many other progressive issues. But he was transparent about it, most Democrats saw he was not being straight and did not vote for him in the primaries.

The public option he proposed was limited to people not otherwise covered and a small set of small businesses. It was designed not to compete with private insurance, unlike Edwards' and Clinton's public options, which were explicitly designed to constrain private insurance companies by competing with them. It was so small that it was clearly designed to be jettisoned.

Some low information voters may feel betrayed by the legislation we have, and by Obama's role in crafting that legislation. But most voters, and especially usual mid-term voters, are not low information voters and knew what to expect from Obama, they will appreciate the historic nature of this legislation. So I do not think Obama will pay a political price next year for this pivot. The noise on the blogs is the same noise Obama ignored as he racked up wins during the primaries.

by souvarine 2009-12-23 04:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama neutered the public option

Short term victories are what led the Bush supporters to believe that Bush was teflon. We are in the first year of his administration, and people are already asking these questions. The blogs may be ahead of the curve on this (which I tend to think they aren't), but the deeper point is that these issues are guaranteed to pop up again and again just like they with Bush because they reflect the mindset of an administration. That's why ultimately it is not about this or any other particular incident, but instead about what the collective incidents start to tell us, and what starts to slip into the public's mind.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama neutered the public option

i may fit into your category of low information voters....i am not exactly feeling betrayed, because i never had the utopian expectations of many of the obama cultists. the legislation cannot be faulted much due to obama's role, as i see precious little sign of any role he played other than to urge the leadership to cave to every demand of a few foot dragging senators.

unless the jobs numbers begin to improve i would hold off on doing any celebratory obama rain dance due to outstanding achievement....this is not like winning the nobel peace prize or anything that random.

by blackflag 2009-12-23 09:20AM | 0 recs
Give 'em hell, Jerome

The Liar in Chief, and his apologists!

by Paul Goodman 2009-12-23 05:22AM | 0 recs

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