Rich Galen

But there is only one of those arrows in Obama's quiver so it is evidence of how far his health care initiative has fallen that the only way to get the country's attention is to use the Joint Session card.

On CNN yesterday, Rick Sanchez asked me what my advice would be to Obama if I were asked. I said I would tell him to invoke the name of Ted Kennedy who was so successful as a Senator because he would take what he could get, when he could get it and then work to expand whatever "it" was in the next Congress and the next one after that until he got what he wanted in the first place.

Obama should take whatever the Senate will give him and then try to expand it after the 2010 midterm elections. He won't, but that's what he should do.

On the issue of the "public option" here's my suggestion:

Every Republican Member of the House and Senate should commit to supporting an amendment to whatever bill comes to the floor stating, in essence, "All civilian Federal employees shall be covered by the 'public option' because it is such a good idea."

See how Pelosi likes that.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at