It may not be timidity that’s keeping Barack Obama from pushing harder for a public health care option. He may instead be employing a time-tested presidential technique: “strategic uncertainty,” writes Jill Lawrence in Politics Daily. Key for Obama is getting strong Senate support for a bill, and “the best way NOT to get” that support “is to declare right now that you won't settle for anything less than a full-scale public plan.”
President Lincoln barred Kentucky slaves’ freedom before the Emancipation Proclamation; FDR's “enigmatic performance” let him gather all the facts before showing his hand. And Obama may just be biding his time before coming down hard: if the House passes a bill with a public plan and the Senate passes one without, that could be the most effective time to strike.