Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is The White House Strategy Playing Out As Planned?

Jill Lawrence at Politics Daily posits that perhaps the current spot that the health care debate is at may be a part of the master Obama Strategy. She Writes:
"I were formulating strategy at the White House, I would be thinking it's way too early to play hardball about anything, especially the public insurance proposal that has inflamed both liberals (who insist on having it) and conservatives (who insist it must be dumped)."
Is it better to play "hardball" at the crunch time or in the beginning getting the ducks lined up and ready to quack in unison?

She writes:
"But health reform has many more complexities and congressional phases than the Senate's one-shot authorization of a war. My view – to be honest, my hope – is that Obama is deliberately keeping people guessing as the delicate process unfolds. Princeton scholar Fred Greenstein, author of 'The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to George W. Bush," told me that's a definite possibility. He called Obama 'a constructive political chameleon' who is making 'studious use of ambiguity.'"
I like to read about these awesome theories of political maneuverings that seem dramatic but unrealistic. The idea that using the slow legislative policy to your advantage to get a bill through the senate and then try to get a few defectors from the right side of the aisle seems awfully speculative. A strategy that depends on moving at least two republican senators along with eight conservative democrats is long odds.

If there is some amount of confidence that a plan with the public option can get one or two safe republican senator supporters the administration should pursue that option but you still need to get all eight democrat swing senators. Five of the senators are up for election over the next three years, three in 2010 and two in 2012. I think it is very unlikely to get all five of these senators to support a bill.

Perhaps a better strategy is to get Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd to retire to acquire two functional democrat votes. It only makes the road easier. Sphere: Related Content

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