Obama Cannot Escape Hard Choices in September
by Michael Barone at Townhall.com
“Very active.” That’s what White House aides say Barack Obama is going to be this month. That’s probably an understatement. Obama faces September deadlines on three issues, on each of which he could get himself in political trouble, not only with those on the right and center but also those on the political left.
Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, scheduled rather hastily for Wednesday night, gives him a chance to turn around public opinion, which has been going against his policies, and to generate something like the enthusiasm his candidacy created last year.
But he faces a binary choice: The president must either insist on a “government option” insurance plan or must let it be known that he will sign a bill without one. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House won’t pass a bill without the government option, and leftist Progressive Caucus members threaten to withhold their votes from any such bill. But Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad says a government option bill can’t pass the Senate.
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