Barack Obama and his allies are calling this week a make-or-break climax for his administration. He met with the House and Senate leadership last week, his top lieutenants blanketed the talk shows yesterday, and he's holding two meetings with health advisers today. Obama is faced with finishing the health-care battle without the wave of public support that swept him into power, notes the New York Times.
Obama "had to expend some political capital" to push through the economic stimulus package and other critical recovery measures, making it harder to bring through major health reform, concedes Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod. That's the spin, in any case, that the White House prefers to another one gaining traction: that a young president believed his own press and overreached. As one Republican said: "If they thought that his popularity and the good will he had would support liberal policies, they were wrong."