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Obama fights back on health care reform and energy

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It's about time.

On health care reform especially, I think the administration gave up too easily on the message war - before, during and after the legislation passed. (Seriously, how hard was it to demonize insurance companies, yet, incredibly, our side didn't.) What passed wasn't what a lot of us wanted (it wasn't what the public wanted - 70% supported a public option - even though the public now thinks the weaker law goes too far, because they're buying GOP messaging). But the law did include some good things that are defensible - and that the public, when you explain it to them, support in the polls - and the White House, and Obama campaign, should have been defending them a lot more aggressively, and finally they are.

I've written about this plenty of times before, so I won't repeat myself. But, in a nutshell, there are two kinds of people in this town. Those who take a public opinion poll and do what it tells them to do, and those who take a poll and then figure out how to change people's minds. The former have been calling the latter "naive" for three years. On behalf of the latter let me just say, told ya so.

From the Washington Post:

The White House has launched a concerted effort to turn political weakness into strength on two critical election-year issues that have become big vulnerabilities for President Obama: rising gas prices and the controversial health-care law.

At the heart of Obama’s strategy are attempts to dispel Republican claims that his policies have helped drive up the cost of gas, and to improve public opinion of the health-care law, which has been a source of GOP derision for two years.

After months on the defensive, the president is trying to remake both topics into the selling points they were in 2008.

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