The President Praises Pro-Health Reform Republicans

In his weekly radio address, the President praised reform-minded Republicans. All five of them. Unfortunately for the President, none of those five sit in Congress.

From Agence France-Presse:

US President Barack Obama on Saturday praised Republicans who expressed support for his health care reform, saying it was time for Congress to "rise above" political posturing and pass his proposals.

"That is the spirit of national purpose that we must summon right now," Obama said in his weekly radio address.

"Now is the time to rise above the politics of the moment," he continued. "Now is the time to come together as Americans."

The President noted that this past week Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came out in support of reform.

Also speaking out in support of reform were former Republican Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Bill Frist as well as Tommy Thompson, a former secretary of health and human services under President George W. Bush, Obama said.

"These distinguished leaders understand that health insurance reform isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but an American issue that demands a solution," Obama declared.

While I admit that I admire the President's never-ending willingness to reach out to the GOP, I question whether such an approach is ever going to meet with much success. In his address, the President blasted "some in Washington," who he said appeared to be "determined to play the same old partisan politics." If by "some" the President means all but one or two Republicans in Congress, then he has got it right.

Tags: GOP, US Health Care Reform, US Politics (all tags)




This weekly radio address marked a change in tone, where he turned to praising the (few) Republicans in support of health care.

The Hill believes this is a turn at wedge politics. And if you think about it, this stategy sort of makes sense. If the Administration knows no Republicans are going to vote for reform, why not shame them on the way out and build up some political capital?

It seems to be conventional wisdom that the GOP holds a third party status in health care debates now, where the nation is fixed on the real discussion between "Moderate" Democrats and Progressives.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-10 08:16PM | 0 recs
Depends on the definition of success

"I question whether such an approach is ever going to meet with much success." Five famous non-Congressional Republicans is still more than one Congressional Republican, and that bigger number may be the "bipartisan" cover moderate midwestern Dems are looking for. The target may be more Democrats, not more Republicans.

by Nathan Empsall 2009-10-10 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Depends on the definition of success

I hope you are right. I would love to see some of the conservadems turn around on this now that they have some form of "cover."

by JDF 2009-10-10 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The President Praises Republicans

No matter what happens, the President is going to keep calling his efforts and the bill "bipartisan".  The motives for this are so obvious that no matter how I try, I can't begin to explain it without it seeming just unbelievably condescending, which I don't mean to be.  So I won't try.

I'll just say that "while I admire the President for reaching out, is this really bipartisan?" misses the point.

by Jess81 2009-10-11 01:51AM | 0 recs

It's a bit unclear, but I suspect the diarist misses the point here.

I would like to believe that no one could be so blind to the monumental shift, oh, about a month ago, away from Republican inclusion in the legislative process and to a negotiation between moderate and progressive democrats.

Instead, Obama loses nothing, and has everything to gain, by pointing out the cracks in Republican opposition.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-11 09:55AM | 0 recs


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