Margaret Carlson: Is Obamacare challenging enough yet for President Obama?
The first was made in St. Paul, Minn., at the end of the 2008 primary campaign, when candidate Obama predicted that generations would look back and see his nomination as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Couple this with the assessment of his closest aide, Valerie Jarrett, about his exceptionalism. “He knows exactly how smart he is,” she told Obama biographer David Remnick. “And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them.”
Or what an ordinary President does, for that matter. A chief executive less bored than Obama would have stayed on top of his signature legislation. Those upset that he didn’t are bed wetters, the White House says, nervous Nellies who can’t comprehend the larger picture of health care reform that will, in due time, emerge.
Come today, however, a nuclear pause won’t be enough to divert attention from a website that isn’t up to snuff or doesn’t have the right mix of people to save premiums from rising faster than the oceans. Looking back on shepherding Medicare into existence in the mid-1960s, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Wilbur Cohen said the signature program for the elderly was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent implementation. He wasn’t so easily bored.
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