Tales from the Trail

What will be in Obama’s Christmas stocking?

December 14, 2009

The last thing Republicans want to see this Christmas is the U.S. Senate giving President Barack Obama a nicely wrapped package of health care reform legislation.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made that plain today. He hopes the Senate will be a lousy Santa who leaves nothing in Obama’s Christmas stocking.BRITAIN

“I hope so. I really do,” he told NBC’s Today show.

Steele says that’s because the American public doesn’t want the kind of healthcare legislation that Senate Democratic leaders have been talking about lately.

“People are not listening to what folks back at home are saying. I think the latest polls are showing up to 60 percent of the people want this thing either stopped, slowed down or somehow modified,” Steele said.

Steele may have been referring to a recent Fox News poll that showed 57 percent of Americans opposing healthcare legislation now under consideration. That’s the highest level of opposition Fox has found so far.

Other polls have painted a more complex picture of American sentiment. The Kaiser Foundation’s health tracking poll for November found that 58 percent of Americans want reform. Thirty-three percent said they want Obama and Congress to tackle reform even though they don’t like what they’re hearing out of Washington.

Some media commentators seem to think the Senate will fail to reach a compromise by Christmas and point to fresh criticism from lawmakers including independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut as evidence that reform is in trouble.
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But that doesn’t seem to matter much to Obama adviser David Axelrod, who pointed out on ABC’s Good Morning America that Christmas has yet to be cancelled.

“I think that they can get it done. I hope that they will get it done. We’re working day and night with them to get it done,” he said.

“The president said many times that healthcare would be pronounced dead five times before he signed the bill,” Axelrod added.

Photo Credit: Reuters/David Moir (Santas)

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