Kyle Schmidt

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Let Obama be Obama

Stuck in the malaise of August,with increased anxiety over health care reform and dropping poll numbers, the White House  has announced that President Obama will address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday night.  This clip from the West Wing seemingly illustrates the situation in which President Obama currently finds himself:

While I’m not the first to notice the Bartlet-Obama connection, the similarities surely aren’t purely coincidental. The West Wing writers created an alternate reality where a relatively unapologetic liberal president tried to enact a relatively progressive agenda. It’s therefore not surprising then that President Obama faces many of the same problems that writers imagined for the fictitious president. Like President Bartlet, Obama has been cautious in using his political capital and has been letting his opposition set the terms of the debate. Yet during the campaign Obama could alter the public’s belief by his speeches, something he has yet to pull out of his arsenal as president.  Maybe  the White House has been waiting for the right moment.  But at some point if Obama wants to get health care reform he’s going to have to take the same risk that he is asking members of Congress to take and fight for health care reform.  Hopefully Obama is willing to take that risk and makes Wednesday night a night to remember.

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