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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obama on the Defensive

President Obama sat down with Brett Baier.

He spent a lot of time trying to stay on message while Baier hammered at the "process", the possibility of a gimmick vote, and the idea that he'll pass this barely (and how that compares to his soaring language about gaining bi partisanship)

Obama continued to hammer home a simple argument. People are getting screwed and scammed everyday by the insurance companies. It's hurting families, small businesses, and others that struggle to pay for health care.

So, all that Baier was talking about was sideline noise. The president was trying to solve a major problem and an ugly process was well worth that.

Frankly, if the public had been sold that his plan would do all this, the argument would be effective. Instead, the public generally believes that the bill will make things worse. So, the president looks like he is dismissing significant concerns of the public. The president spent much of the interview battling with Baier for oxygen.

That doesn't necessarily make Baier look good but it doesn't make the president look all that good either. At one point, the president said, "not only will I know what's in the bill". Wouldn't he already know what's in the bill?

On substance, the president was challenged on his assertion that he will not only cut medicare but make it stronger. I don't think the interview changed anything. The president was dancing and dodging throughout. He was constantly on the defensive trying to stay on message. Baier challenged him throughout.

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