View Full Version : Obama Pitch: My Presidency’s Sunk,"(With Or)" Without, Obama_Care

03-18-2010, 04:11 PM
Remember when Democrats mocked Jim DeMint for calling ObamaCare the President’s “Waterloo”? Apparently, that’s stopped being a bug and is now a feature, at least according to Barack Obama. In a pitch aimed at convincing skeptical members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to back the Senate version of the bill, Obama told them that the “fate of his presidency” depended on winning this vote:

President Barack Obama had exhausted most of his health care reform arguments with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during a White House meeting last Thursday when he made a more personal pitch that resonated with many skeptics in the room.

One caucus member told POLITICO that Obama won him over by “essentially [saying] that the fate of his presidency” hinged on this week’s health reform vote in the House. The member, who requested anonymity, likened Obama’s remarks to an earlier meeting with progressives when the president said a victory was necessary to keep him “strong” for the next three years of his term.

Another caucus member, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), said, “We went in there already knowing his presidency would be weakened if this thing went down, but the president clearly reinforced the impression the presidency would be damaged by a loss.” …

White House officials said Obama’s recent remarks aren’t intended to personalize the debate or rally undecided Democratic members with an egocentric, “win one for Barry” message. They said Obama’s point is to hammer home the idea that all Democrats would benefit from a health care win and that the party’s larger policy agenda would be damaged if the president were to lose.

For what it’s worth, the Waterloo talk is overblown — by both sides. We don’t have a parliamentary system in the US; the executive does not face votes of no confidence by the legislature. The President is always relevant to political debate, thanks to the power of the veto, as Bill Clinton proved in the collapse of his own takeover of the health-care sector in 1994..