Politico is reporting that President Barack Obama will soon give another speech on healthcare, giving specifics and hoping to set the record straight after an August filled with threats of government-sponsored, Grandma-killing and people bringing semi-automatic weapons to political townhall meetings.
Obama is considering detailing his health-care demands in a major speech as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the August recess. And although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama has no plans to insist on it himself, the officials said.
“We’re entering a new season,” senior adviser David Axelrod said in a telephone interview. “It’s time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done. We’re confident that we can do that. But obviously it is a different phase. We’re going to approach it in a different way. The president is going to be very active.”
Top officials privately concede the past six weeks have taken their toll on Obama’s popularity. But the officials also see the new diminished expectations as an opportunity to prove their critics wrong by signing a health care law, showing progress in Afghanistan, and using this month’s anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers to push for a crackdown on Wall Street.
Needless to say, the president and his plan have taken a thumpin’ to the head from the opposition that they weren’t prepared for. The result has been a lot of misinformation, insanity and confusion over the healthcare plan which is still largely unfinished as legislators are still debating what will go in the healthcare reform bill.
But will another speech from the president stem the tide of healthcare panic? The great freak out on healthcare reform has been allowed to build and grow pretty much unabated as Democrats were slow-footed and slow-witted in their lengthy, confusing responses to the general whackdooey-ness of particular members of the panicked populace. A speech could help, but it would have to be some amazing speech, because, right now, there’s a lot of screaming, but very little actual listening going on in this debate. But what do you think? Will a more specific, frank speech help the president’s cause?