Obama Says He Never Campaigned for the Public Option

Is Obama telling the truth when he says he never campaigned for the public option?

Watch this 30-second video and decide for yourself:

See the full story on Americablog.

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4 Responses to “Obama Says He Never Campaigned for the Public Option”
  1. Greg Zaller says:

    Obama has made history for what he has accomplished and is accomplishing already by heading up one branch of government. Krugman made some good comments in this regard http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/25/opinion/25krugman.html?_r=1 Let’s also not forget that Obama has been president for less than a year and came in under emergency circumstances that needed to be addressed first. Very rarely can problems be solved in one leap. In fact, change requires steps. Obama gives the example of turning a large ship for explaining the process of changing our government.

    We should keep this in mind and not hinder the change by promoting a negative view but by all means hold him accountable. I’ve heard that the video shown above was not a part of his campaign platform or promise so the inference that it was is unfair. Even if it was, I am pleased he is making progress.



  2. depelton says:

    I voted for Obama and felt like weeping in gratitude when he was elected. I’m still proud of us as a nation for electing him. It shows the continuing vitality of our democratic ideals. And I agree it makes sense — given the disastrous economy and wounded polity he inherited — to cut Obama some slack.

    At the same time, we serve him — and ourselves — best by keeping faith with these ideals, and not by pretending that everything is rosy when he strays from a healthy course, as he has clearly done by allowing the perpetrators of the deregulation that led directly to our recent meltdown (Summers, Bernanke, Geithner, et. al.) to manage the economic recovery, by cutting deals with the health insurance industry to preclude the one solution — single-payer — favored by a huge majority of Americans, etc. And suggesting that he did not vigorously support the public option insults our intelligence.

    Obama admires FDR, but — unlike FDR — prefers to cut deals with (rather than challenge) those whom FDR called the “economic royalists.” Lincoln, FDR and LBJ all succeeded in effecting lasting social change by allying themselves with strong populist movements for change. In LBJ’s case, he even famously urged Martin Luther King to “keep doing what you’re doing, and make it possible for me to do the right thing.”

    Criticizing Obama when he fails to do the right thing, and urging him to keep faith with our deepest ideals, is not only the highest form of patriotism, it’s also — as the experience of Lincoln, FDR and LBJ shows — precisely what he most needs from us in order to succeed. A strong, noisy social movement will give him political cover for what he ought to do.

    Glossing over all negativity — even if motivated by the noblest desire to support him — does not serve his interests or ours.

  3. Greg Zaller says:

    OK, I agree. But it wasn’t Obama who let us down on this, if not getting it all at once can be considered letting us down. Why not be disappointed with certain voters in congress, for example? Obama may have done his job just right (the bill just barely squeaked by and it appeared there was a chance of losing it).

    Wouldn’t it be cool if the final bill was closer to what you are hoping for? Also, as some have pointed out, the present bill could be modified in the future. There is hope. Change is happening. I agree we should stay awake (or wake up more.)


  4. depelton says:

    I hope you’re right,, Greg.

    The most interesting idea I’ve heard recently is that if (1) a robust public option is reintroduced in the reconciliation process, and (2) just one courageous senator (say Franken, Sanders or Feingold) says he will not vote for the bill without that option, then Reid and Obama would be forced to pass the bill (as the GOP did with so many bills, such a tax cuts for the wealthy) as a budget reconciliation bill, needing only 51 votes to pass. This would make Lieberman and others who held up the process irrelevant.

    I hope this happens, but I’ll be surprised if it does.

    See also “Nine ways Obama didn’t fight for the robust public option he once promised us.”

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