Monday, August 17, 2009


In Mexico for a meeting with that country’s President and our Prime Minister, President Barack Obama was asked about the ugly scenes of shouting, name-calling and even some threats at various Town Hall meetings across the United States to discuss universal health care reform. I personally believe Obama is beginning to damage his brand by failing to understand that he is no longer the “underdog.” He is now in power, someone real underdogs – like American taxpayers, will tend to rally against. Obama replied to the reporter’s question by predicting his health care reform package will pass once people see it, and spoke about the skepticism around it. “Well, look, people didn’t think I would get elected President either,” he said, alluding to how his ‘underdog’ health reforms could also rise up. One small problem, only John McCain’s election as President would have been an upset in the last election campaign, given how heavily favoured Obama was, particularly after McCain’s selection of a vice presidential running mate. Considering recent history of powerful Democratic administrations’ attempts at health care reform (see Clintons), Obama shouldn’t paint himself into a corner on this issue when “cautiously optimistic” and “hearing the concerns” of Americans would do just fine. Nor should he keep dipping into the well of his so-called ‘underdog’ rise to the Presidency. Historic, yes. Unexpected, not really, once he beat Hillary Clinton for the nomination and after eight years of George W. Bush. Dining out on that back story every time there’s a political crisis in Washington hugely devalues it.

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