One pundit is calling president Obama’s prime-time press conference tonight “high stakes.” Another says Obama will “lay it all on the line.” And Politico is warning that the administration is risking an Obama overdose.
It’s an awful lot of focus for what amounts to just one more press conference — Obama’s fourth since taking office. But the context is significant. The president’s latest approval rating show a recognizable dip — The Washington Post calls it “solid but slipping” — and the president himself has called the overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system his top legislative priority. If a defeat of some kind of overhaul would be Obama’s Waterloo, what would you call it if a bill passed?
At the same time, the president has gotten flak from some elements on the left for not moving fast enough on gay issues, and for ratcheting up the war in Afghanistan. And all of this is on top of ongoing attacks from the right.
How important, for you, is the passage of healthcare legislation as a marker of Obama’s poltical power? What about cap and trade? What else are you looking at?
Whether you voted for or against him, what’s your appraisal of Obama’s performance so far? If you’re less impressed with Obama than when he was elected, what changed?
Is the honeymoon over?
- Darrell West: Vice President and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution
- John McCormack: Political reporter for the Weekly Standard
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017