Let's Stop Giving Speeches, Start Twisting Arms, Obama

Health care votes are going to be won in the backroom, not at the podium
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2009 12:37 PM CDT
On his way to the Oval Office in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, President Barack Obama stands in the Colonnade waiting a few moments for someone to unlock the door.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – President Obama shouldn’t give a health care reform speech tonight. In fact, he should never give one again, writes Timothy Noah for Slate. He's already given a whopping 27 speeches on the issue. Every time he gets the urge to give another, he should instead sit down with Democratic holdouts and “explain how very difficult their lives will be if they don’t vote yes.”

The public doesn’t need to be sold on health care reform. Forty-eight percent still support “Obama’s plan,” while 55% favor the public option. Those numbers are dropping, but so has support for Republican alternatives—to 23%. Obama just needs to work on convincing the risk-averse Democrats in Congress to get this done. And for that, he's going to need flattery, promises, and arm twisting, not another dang speech.