- Peter J. Pitts is president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former FDA associate commissioner. The opinions expressed are his own. -
The much ballyhooed White House summit on healthcare created no “aha” moments or Daily Show -worthy gaffes and was about as interesting to watch as Olympic curling.
President Obama was hoping, by force of will, intelligence and gravitas to both sway Republican lawmakers to his point of view (aspirational at best) while simultaneously demonstrating to the American people (and particularly American voters) that his proposal was a moderate one (arguable at worst).
From a communications perspective, he was presented with a classic Nick Naylor moment. The president didn’t realize the odds were 2-1 against. Not only did he have to prove he was right, he had to demonstrate the other side was wrong.
The GOP had an easier task — to have something constructive to offer, not get shrill (and yell “liar!”) or look at their watches. They succeeded.