WHITE HOUSE CONFUSION - AT 7:52 A.M. ET: Or, what else is new? The inability of this White House to run things is becoming the stuff of instant legends. The president is in trouble on health care, and there are good reasons. He doesn't exactly come off as a leader who inspires confidence:
WASHINGTON -- The White House fell into full retreat yesterday from its earlier surrender of Democratic plans for a massive new government-run insurance agency as part of its health-care reform bid.
The Obama administration now says it remains fully behind the idea of a "public option" for government-run insurance, despite clear signals over the weekend from top officials that the public option is not a deal-breaker and is just a "sliver" of the overall reforms it seeks.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs blamed the media for misunderstanding the administration's support.
"The administration's position is unchanged," Gibbs insisted in a testy exchange yesterday during which he handed one reporter exact quotes to read from previous speeches.
COMMENT: They don't seem to realize they have a problem, and it's not just with the press. It's with leadership. There is no question but that the White House signalled last week, and over the weekend, that it was open to dropping the public option. Then the Democratic left went ballistic and refused to take its pills. Now, a frightened White House is pulling back its earlier position.
Change we can believe in? We don't even know what the change is.
August 19, 2009