Noonan: Obama Misjudged America

'Common sense' could defeat reform
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2009 7:47 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks during a fundraiser, Thursday, July 23, 2009, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – For once, President Obama’s “fine-tuned antennae” seem to have betrayed him: it looks as though he’s “misjudged the nation’s mood” on health care reform, writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. We’re seeing opposition to the plan, even if it’s not yet showing up in the polls. Why? “Simple American common sense”: in most minds, the economy comes first, and fixing health care won’t likely improve the economy.

“The national mood has changed since the president was elected,” Noonan notes. At that time, people were focused on a need for change. But as the financial picture grew bleaker, Americans felt “a diminished sense of their country’s margin for error.” They’re “not in a chance-taking mood,” nor one for spending. In the end, the Congressional Budget Office report saying reform would cost a trillion dollars over a decade “might have killed health care.”