Roger L. Simon

Coming home: The rhetoric of Obamaland

I have one more full day in Europe and, if I am to believe Politico, I am returning to a chastened – one could almost say desperate – Obama administration. You can sense that desperation in the language of their defenders in the Politico piece. Regarding healthcare: “We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,” an aide said. “There are lots of different ways to get there.”

No, they haven’t and everybody knows that. The President has been advocating the public option for the better part of a decade. Who is this “aide” speaking under the cloak of anonymity? Don’t know, but it could be David Axelrod himself who seems to be the key interview for the Politico piece. The article concludes with this inadvertent bit of comedy from the President’s key advisor: “Part of it is born of long experience,” he said. “In Washington, every day is Election Day. I’d be lying to you if I told you I don’t look at polls — I do. But I’ve also learned that you have to keep your eye on the horizon here and not get bogged down. I am not Polyannish, but I am also not given to the hysteria that’s endemic to this town.”

He be “lying” to us if he told us he didn’t look at the polls?! Sacré bleu, as they say here in Paris. Or “gag me with a spoon,” as they say back in the Valley.

Healthcare watered down, cap-and-trade on the shelf… Obama’s now out to nail Big Bad Wall Street. Pretty thin gruel. If I were the Republicans, I’d be worrying about peaking too early.