Who had the worst week in Washington? President Obama


The Washington Post

Here’s what the new healthcare law isn’t: iTunes. Or Amazon. Or Travelocity. Or a seat-belt-less car. Here’s what it is: a massive political problem for President Obama and Democrats running for reelection in 2014.

That reality became clear this past week as Obama tried unsuccessfully to analogize and apologize himself out of a corner.

Facing mounting pressure from endangered Democrats in the House and Senate, Obama delivered a speech and hosted a news conference/talk-a-thon Thursday in which he acknowledged that he has “fumbled” the healthcare rollout and that he is not a perfect man nor a perfect president. He said he will allow people to keep their health insurance, even if it doesn’t meet the law’s minimum requirements, until the end of 2014. (That the deadline will fall after the midterm elections is sheer coincidence. Wink, wink.) He acknowledged that HealthCare.gov will not be fully operational by the administration’s self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline.

And then there was this gem, on his disproven pledge that if you like your insurance, you can keep it: “The way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate.”

If Obama’s news conference was designed to calm the nerves of Capitol Hill Democrats and blunt the attacks of Capitol Hill Republicans, it did neither.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who just happens to be running for re-election in a state where Obama won only 41 percent of the vote last year, said she will continue to push a legislative fix that would require insurers to revive plans that have been canceled because they fell short of Affordable Care Act standards. (Forget that such a move could torpedo the law.)

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, went the understated route. “The president has absolutely no credibility on his promise,” he said in a statement.

President Obama, for riding without a seatbelt on an analogy train to nowhere, you had the worst week in Washington.

Congrats, or something.

Chris Cillizza covers the White House for The Washington Post and writes The Fix, its politics blog.

© 2013, The Washington Post

Read more From Our Inbox stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category