Heads Congress Wins; Tails the White House Loses
At a town hall meeting in Minnesota Tuesday, Rep. Collin Peterson (D), the moderate chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, reportedly urged President Obama to get more specific about his plans for health care reform, or risk having them dashed.
“He’s talking about generalities and concepts, but he has not said, ‘This is what I’m for,’” Peterson said. “In order to get something done, it’s going to take the president to come forward and say, ‘This is it, this is where we start.’”
Funny, though, that this approach was precisely the factor so often blamed for the failure of the Clinton administration to pass its own sweeping health care reforms in 1993 and 1994. No doubt that, before choosing to allow Congress the freedom to craft Washington’s health reform bill this year, Obama had consulted with his secretary of state, his chief of staff, and probably even Bill Clinton himself. It’s strange now to have the same Congress that had blasted the Clintons for being pushy with details is now going after Obama for being too vague.
That Obama is reportedly planning to announce detailed demands later this month is indication that he’s nimble enough to change strategies mid-stream. Whether the switch comes too late has yet to be seen.