Obama was "for" the public option before he was "against" it. Confirming the White House messaging of the last month, President Barack Obama will not push for the public health insurance option he campaigned on and promoted for two years and "welcomes a showdown" with progressive and Democratic congressmen, administration officials tell Politico.
On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.
Obama's specifics will include many of the principles he has spelled out before, and aides did not want to telegraph make-or-break demands. But Axelrod and others are making plain that Obama will assert himself more aggressively—a clear sign that the president will start dictating terms to Congress.
Obama's leadership on health care reform has been just as "aggressive" as his "commitment" to begin needle exchange programs for the HIV positive or his promise to end warrantless surveillance with a filibuster. Can't wait to see the President's "aggressive" leadership on enacting the hate crimes bill and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as well as repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act. Or maybe those are second term issues?