Obama seeks to cast healthcare vote as test of courage
Do they have what it takes?
In a new twist, President Barack Obama is trying to turn the tough politics involved in the healthcare reform push into an argument for passing his top domestic priority.
Obama is telling fellow Democrats that supporting legislation to overhaul the $2.5 trillion healthcare system, despite its lack of popularity, would be a mark of courage.
At a pair of fundraisers in St. Louis for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Obama said voters sent their politicians to Washington to make hard choices and that passing healthcare was the right thing to do.
He held himself up as an example, saying that he made difficult decisions in his first year, including pushing through a $787 billion stimulus package, bailing out the U.S. auto companies and deciding to move ahead on healthcare reform.
While Washington pundits suggest the drop in his poll numbers means “the sky is falling,” Obama said, “I’m looking around and I’m thinking I feel okay.”
He poked fun at the poll-obsessed Washington culture and expressed relief to be out of the nation’s capital, if only for a day.
“There are a lot of nice things in Washington. Don’t get me wrong. I love the monuments,” he said. “But it’s a town where most of the time people are worried more about politics than about what’s right. People are hooked to the daily polls like some kind of EKG.”
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Photo Credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama at McCaskill fundraiser)