Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 13:03 | SYDNEY
Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 13:03 | SYDNEY

Obama: Winning on health?


Michael Fullilove


24 July 2009 13:17

President Barack Obama gave another intelligent and lucid performance at the podium during his press conference yesterday. This was Obama's fourth prime-time press conference in his six months as president — the same number that his predecessor managed in eight years. Is this the be-all and end-all of governing? Nope, but it's a nice change. 

The spectacle also served to put the president's recent drop in public support into perspective. Sure, his numbers have slipped a little — but so have his rivals', and in the White House he has the world's best sound stage, and his political skills are just as sharp as they were last week, and the other contenders for his job continue to self-destruct like messages on Mission Impossible. I'd say that Obama's glass is well over three-quarters full.

It’s hard to say, though, how much he advanced the ball on health care yesterday. This is truly policy-making in a perfect storm: the issues are complex; the stakes are high; the sums are large; the deficit is huge; and the opponents are powerful. The next month will tell us something important about the ability of the US political system to digest several big issues in a short period.