The First Draft: postmortem

July 23, 2009

Did President Barack Obama step on his own healthcare message last night?

Morning TV shows led with his comments about  black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates who was arrested after trying to get into his own home.

OBAMA/Obama said police acted “stupidly,” a comment likely to lose him some friends in law enforcement, and that the incident was a reminder the race issue “still haunts us.”

It was a brand new comment from the president on a hot-button issue: race relations in America.

So how could the healthcare comments, which dominated the nearly hour-long news conference, compete? They ended up playing second fiddle because it was the same pitch heard over and over recently.

Next week will be crunchtime to see if Congress will give the new president a feather for his cap by voting on healthcare legislation before the August recess.

No foreign policy questions at the news conference. Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Tbilisi, Georgia, was not overlooked by Russia which is doing some saber-rattling over it today.

Closer to home, Obama keeps pressing on healthcare today with a trip to Cleveland. His popularity has taken a bit of a drubbing in Ohio, so watch for the reception.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama gestures at news conference)


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What is all this fuss about the cost of healthcare? I pays $70 per month out of my paycheck for a nice healthcare plan and I can choose my doctor. Its a lot of money but it is less than I pay for beer in a week. Why is everyone complaining about the cost of healthcare? Its stopid.

I think American healthcare is the greatest in the whole world. I am a proud american and I always vote republican. I do not want no communist healthcare like they got everywheres else.

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

It was just another inconsequential moment in a totally inconseguencial waste of time and energy news conference. The President missed the mark on both topics clearly for the first time in his presidency. Jumping to conclusions on the Gates issue is an interesting metaphor for his approach on fast tracking the health care solution.

Posted by Steve-o | Report as abusive

It wouldn’t matter if Jesus introduced a health care plan,
some people wouldn’t like it.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

senator obama voted consistently against any health care reform bills,when he was in the senate.why now he is insistent that there should be health reform?why the change of heart?could it be that the only reform or change that he was interested in then was not on the agenda, socialized health care?it is important that we don,t necessarily be fooled by what he is saying now,but try to find what he has being consistently advocating in the past.that is why it was wrong when the press failed to properly investigate this guy.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Reality check, ask yourself, if our health care in the U.S. is so bad, how come people are not running to Europe and Canada to get better government run health care. It is a fact that the Canadians and even the Italian prime minister are coming to the U.S. because they are not satisfied with the government run health care in their own country. Now, what is your logic in supporting the proposal of our corrupt and inept president to let the government run our health care. I work in the government and I see how wasteful, corrupt and inefficient a government run system is. So, all americans who voted for Obama and if you think other progressive countries in Europe or in Canada is better in providing health care than the U.S., then move to Canada or Europe and live there so you can enjoy it. This delusional president is full of B.S. and that is the change you can believe in.

Posted by Al Askador | Report as abusive