Who Obama Will Really Be Talking To Tomorrow

GOP only one of many audience he'll have to convince at summit
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2010 11:39 AM CST
President Barack Obama listens during his meeting with members of the National Governors Association, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010, in the State Dinning Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Barack Obama will technically be speaking with congressional leaders at tomorrow’s much-hyped health care summit, but in reality, he’s going to be pitching his message to a variety of audiences far beyond the Blair House. Ben Smith of Politico breaks down his targets:

  • House Democrats: Nancy Pelosi’s been warning that she’s not sure she has the votes to pass the Senate’s version of the bill. Obama’s hoping to convince the rank and file that this is their best hope, and that it’s better than nothing.

  • Senate Democrats: Obama will try to convince those facing re-election that they can cast the tough vote and not face backlash.
  • The public: This is Obama’s big chance to make health care his own. If he can make it more popular, it’ll help House lawmakers vote for it.
  • The media: The Washington press corps loves bipartisanship, so this meeting should win them over.
  • Republicans: They’re “last and least among Obama’s audiences,” in Smith’s estimation. He has little hope of turning them, but he can at least say he listened.

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