Throughout the past year and more so in recent times, some analysts have said Barack Obama is much more skilled at campaigning than governing.Â He likes to take issues directly to the peopleÂ andÂ whip up emotional reaction in the crowds through commanding rhetoric.
ButÂ that routine has grown more transparent. Just recently, MSNBC noted Obama is trying to tap into the anger his administration has caused and lead theÂ call for change. Even though what the people want is change from his administration’s politics.
Now, he’s campaigning again, taking his health care reform plan to the people and trying to whip up support. But as usual, he does this by blaming others for the people’s discontent and…leading the call for change.
Let’s take a look at this…
Trying to rally the public and put more pressure on Congress to act quickly, President Obama on Monday took to the road to castigate insurance companies and urged voters to lobby for passage of the healthcare overhaul….
Obama argued that his healthcare proposal trumped politics.
Sure. Just say it convincingly and it will be so. (Oddly, the advice to Dorothy comes to mind….”Just tap your heels three times and say ‘I want to go home’…”)
“I don’t know how passing healthcare will play politically, but I do know that it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “If you share that belief, I want you to stand with me and fight with me. And I ask you to help us get us over the finish line these next few weeks.
Virtually nobody is saying health care is the wrong thing to do. Let’s be honest. We universally share that belief. But note the lack of specifics in this appeal to emotion by the community organizer-in-chief.
“The need is great,” he said. “The opportunity is here. Let’s seize reform. It’s within our grasp.”
When read as text in print and not heard with the dramatic delivery and staged backdrops, it’s just general blanket rhetoric. And he’s got plenty of that.
“The time for talk is over,” Obama said. “We need to see where people stand. And we need all of you to help us win that vote. So I need you to knock on doors. Talk to your neighbors. Pick up the phone. When you hear an argument by the water cooler and somebody is saying this or that about it, say, no, no, no, no, hold on a second.
What? Oh, he’s whipping up emotions again. Forget facts. They just bog things down.
And we need you to make your voices heard all the way in Washington, D.C.
“They need to hear your voices because right now the Washington echo chamber is in full throttle. It is as deafening as it’s ever been. And as we come to that final vote, that echo chamber is telling members of Congress, wait, think about the politics — instead of thinking about doing the right thing,” he said.
No, the people with whom this overhaul is so unpopular are crying ‘do the right thing’. It’s the party leadership voices echoing through the chambers that are warning members to think about the politics.
The White House has said the president would like to see the House act before he leaves for Asia on March 18, but House leaders have indicated they would be happy if that chamber acts before Easter break at the end of the month.
Just get it done, they demand. Because it’s critical to the president’s legacy.
Mr. Obama’s closing arguments are lending credence to rank-and-file fears that they’re getting played. Democrats are telling reporters that Mr. Obama has been telling them in private meetings that his Presidency, and the party’s claim to any achievement, rests on passing a bill. With barely any mention of substance, the right bill is any bill, by any political means necessary.
Even false promises.
Then there’s House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s far-fetched suggestion to Mr. [Bart] Stupak and the antiabortion [pro-life]Â bloc that Democrats can take care of their concerns in a third bill, which everyone knows will fail in the Senate if it even comes to the floor.
In this wilderness of political mirrors, anything is possible.
ButÂ because he sealed the deal on the campaign trail before, we will see Mr. Obama there again, as long as it takes. Or works.