Going into this whole thing, we were sure that Obama would take the opportunity of a primetime news conference on health care reform to carefully and eloquently lay out his detailed plan to the American people, you know, going through everything step by step to explain exactly what it all meant and how it would be paid for. What we got instead was all-too-familiar flowery rhetoric about how there are too many uninsured people in America and how we must do something now to correct this. We, of course, agree with this wholeheartedly, something must be done and we really want him to do something sensible, but at some point he's got to detail exactly how he's going to overhaul the system. We thought he would do that tonight. Sadly, he did not.
In short, the president whiffed tonight completely. His opponents are using every political scare tactic in the political scare tactic playbook to win the battle for public opinion on this issue, while doing virtually nothing to offer up their own solution, but it appears as though the Obama administration is hoping it can ride the president's noted charm and charisma horse to the finish line on this one. We don't think that's going to work. The sheen of the Obama presidency is beginning to dull and people, even those who supported him in the 2008 election, are beginning to yearn for more than well-articulated good intentions.
If the White House wasn't yet prepared to roll out the details of their plan, then they shouldn't have called the press conference in the first place. This only makes it harder for them to reach people when they're actually ready to roll out the important details of a plan, as you get the sense that people are beginning to just tune out on the issue, despite the fact that having so many uninsured citizens is one of this country's great modern shames. Again, the Obama administration had an opportunity tonight, and they let it slip away from them.
After all, you know what they say—if you lose Gawker, you lose America.
Also, what the hell was he doing condemning the Cambridge police on the Henry Louis Gates thing, saying that "the police acted stupidly?!" Yes, the charges against Gates were dropped, but shouldn't the president remain neutral on such things while the arresting officer's actions are being investigated? Geez. Feel free to agree or disagree with any of this in the comments.
And here's video of the entire press conference: