A Toast to Health Care Reform

Although I am dubious about some of the contents in our new health care reform bill that just this morning President Obama signed into law, I am moved by its passage–more than I thought I would be since I always knew (as I’ve written) that HCR would pass. I mean, why wouldn’t it?  After all, Barack Obama is a powerful and transformative president (as pundits maybe are realizing, finally); his party (not quite the same as his allies, admittedly) controls Congress.  The Democrats were going to link arms and walk lock-step lemming-like off the cliffs of responsibility and into political irrelevance?  I don’t think so.

Then why did so many political prognosticators, inside the White House and out, predict otherwise?  Because they are slaves to the constricted narrative, the “small war” typos of politics. (more…)

Meg Whitman, Governor?

Since the California press criticizes Meg Whitman for poorly-detailed responses to California issues, I thought I’d start a list of her responses, beginning with the ones I heard last week when she spoke at Rossmoor in Walnut Creek.  I will update over time.  Ditto with Jerry Brown.   (more…)

A Few Final Tidbits on Blair House

Over and over I watched the tape of Obama working the room at Blair House. Here are a few observations I could not work into my blog post.

From Obama’s cursory pat of Lamar Alexander’s shoulder, Obama did not know that Alexander was about to deliver the Republicans’ opening remarks.  Surely, Obama knew Alexander himself.  There was no recognition on Obama’s face, however. (Since I have a problem recalling faces and names, I note the difficulty in other people.)  The “Obama-Alexander” contact moment is interesting because, as I wrote in the blog post, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced herself to the President.  Clearly, they had never met, and Obama did not know who she was. (more…)

Why the Blair House Summit Is Important

[Apologies for the week-long hiatus.  Copyediting my younger daughter’s dissertation chapter was a bigger job than I had anticipated.  And a challenge. Cutting through the footnote thickets of Dutch, German and French about did me in.  And then of course the husband was away–in China on Apple business–and so the wife did play.]

A century from now students of history will be watching the Blair House Summit not for insight on the current health care debate but for its video window into Barack Obama, who may be the most inscrutable president we have ever had. Having just finished my second-to-third viewing of the seven-hour meeting, I can report not only that Obama continues to justify scrutiny but also that last Thursday, February 25, 2010 is an historic occasion. (more…)

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