The MSM, practically drowning in their own saliva, are tripping over themselves to report how Obama will soon convene a “healthcare summit” which involves himself and Democrat and Republican leaders. Via Politico:
President Barack Obama is planning to host a televised meeting with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on health care reform.
The Feb. 25 meeting is an attempt to reach across the aisle but not a signal that the president plans to start over, as Republicans have demanded, a White House official said.
“I want to come back [after the Presidents Day congressional recess] and have a large meeting — Republicans and Democrats — to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward,” Obama said in an interview with Katie Couric during CBS’s Super Bowl pre-game show Sunday.
Obama said he wants to “look at the Republican ideas that are out there.”
“If we can go, step by step, through a series of these issues and arrive at some agreements, then, procedurally, there’s no reason why we can’t do it a lot faster the process took last year,” he said.
In a statement, the official said, “What the president will not do is let this moment slip away. He hopes to have Republican support in doing so — but he is going to move forward on health reform.”
But since the Democratic loss in the Massachusetts Senate race, Obama has been forced to rework his legislative strategy – both by striking a more bipartisan tone, and returning to his campaign pledge of providing more transparency. He’s been dogged by questions about why he failed to live up to his campaign promise of televising the health care negotiations on C-SPAN.
The half-day meeting will take place at Blair House, and be broadcast live, presumably by C-SPAN, making it the first televised White House meeting involving the president since a forum last March.
This is a joke. He’s had plenty of time over the last year to look over GOP ideas on heatlhcare reform but instead has taken every opportunity he can to lie about those ideas, suggesting that the GOP had no ideas, no plans, effectively painting them as not just the party of no ideas … but the party of “no.” His desire to host a broadcast of a “meeting of the Democrat and Republican minds” is just one more example of his penchant for exhibiting style and symbolism over substance. Sure, he promised during the campaign numerous times that he would open up healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN – but he didn’t say he was going to be a part of it. This “summit” would be better … but not much … if he kept his hands – and ego – out of it. His participation in the summit is designed solely to look like he genuinely “cares” about what the GOP thinks, and that he is “listening” to the American people on the issue, when in reality he doesn’t care what either thinks, and has said as much with his comments about him being content with being a one-term President as long as he can get his reform plan passed – in part by engaging in the same types of backroom deal-making (more here) he decried as a candidate for President, and as President.
The GOP, of course, has no choice but to go along with this latest farce, as calling it for what it is – nothing more than a “show summit” a la the “Beer Summit” – will make them look flip-floppy in the face of their constant complaints over the last couple of months about the lack of open, televised-on-CSPAN negotiations. So Obama will get to do what he does best: stand in front of a camera and deliver meaningless, empty rhetoric to his adoring masses in the MSM, which will translate into breathless, fluffy “commentary” on news program after news program about how this President has “recommitted” himself to the process of “transparency” and “open government” and “bipartisanship.”
Whether or not this transparently smoke and mirrors political move is smart politics by the WH will be decided at the ballot box come November. Let’s hope and pray that the GOP is aware of this and is able to utilize the “summit” broadcast to their advantage.