When consideration of health care reform started we were told President Obama did not want to make the same mistake as former President Clinton. You will recall the Clinton administration presented its own bill to Congress.
President Obama turned the writing of health care legislation over to House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid. Well the nation saw what happens when the door is closed and the congressional barons write a piece of legislation.
After the health care reform fiasco of 2009 Obama decided to take charge, draft a bill and develop a strategy for passage. His bill – an 11 page outline. The strategy a – “guest house” summit. The health care summit was best described by Dana Milbank as “Professor Obama’s Classroom”.
Where is Bill Clinton when we need him was my thought as I watched President Obama at the Blair House.
Just after the election in December, 1992 former President Clinton held an economic summit. President Obama should have spent his seven hours yesterday looking for economic development ideas instead of “beating a dead horse.” Or reading Miss Manners.
President Clinton was known as a policy wonk, knowledgeable on most every subject. He studied rather than sleep. I went back to look at video from the l992 Little Rock summit. I wanted to see how the President-elect conducted himself.
I can assure you he did not come across as “Mr. Know It All” and he did not show distain for his guests as was exhibited by President Obama at the Blair House summit.
After Members of Congress from both parties put forth a sincere effort it would seem the polite thing for President Obama to do was to say “thank you for your ideas, concerns and willingness to participate.”
Rather he ended on the lowest note of the day. He told Republicans come around or we are going to proceed anyway. That means using a reconciliation procedure to avoid a possible filibuster and pass a bill by a simple majority vote.
President Obama may find he gets the same results as he received for his efforts in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. That being a Republican Congress in 2011.