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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Another Bite at the Apple

The President held a press conference today to announce that yes, indeed, he will press Congress to act on health care reform this month. There’s was nothing immensely new about that development, but it’s interesting that Obama used the occasion to lay out, quite succinctly, the three key points he made in his health care summit with Republicans: why comprehensive reform is essential, why the time for “negotiations” is over, and why there’s nothing that unusual about the use of reconciliation (though he did not use the word, a very unfamiliar term to most people outside Washington) to get the job done. He essentially took another bite at the apple of responding to the most effective Republican lines of attack, and will apparently do so some more in appearances on the road this month.
On the other hand, the presidential press conference may get demoted on the nightly news if a possible scandal involving Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) continues to develop. Massa, a freshman from a highly marginal district, abruptly let it be known he was retiring. Some sources say he’s suffering from a recurrence of cancer, but Politico is reporting that he was about to come under investigation by the Ethics Committee for allegedly sexually harrassing a male staffer. If the latter story has a basis in reality, it will be big news tonight.

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