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

  • No one wins in fight for legroom at 40,000 feet

    I’m 6-foot-2 and all leg, so I’m very sympathetic to folks who complain about legroom. However, like many tall people, I also have a bad back, so I’m very sympathetic to folks who want to recline their seats. Heck, I’m even sympathetic to the airlines that are cramming people into planes with the wild abandon of college freshmen filling their trunks for summer break.

  • When journalists become the story

    In recent weeks, and in very different environments, journalists have found themselves in the unusual position of becoming the subject of news stories rather than the people telling them. First, my Washington Post colleague Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly were arrested in a Ferguson, Mo., McDonald’s while covering protests against police brutality. Soon after, we learned that James Foley, a freelance journalist, was murdered by his Islamic State captors, an act that communicated the lethal tactics of that organization in the ugliest possible terms.

  • Al Sharpton, the White House’s mouthpiece

    As he has grown weary of Washington, President Obama has shed parts of his presidency, like drying petals falling off a rose.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

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