Rich Galen

It doesn't take a PhD in history to figure out that the reason President Obama is so closely - make that, utterly - focused on health care reform is because he and his people have decided this will be his FDR moment.

I have no reason to know this is what happened, except I know how people in Your Nation's Capital think. Immediately after the election in November 2008, Barack Obama and his advisors got together to decide how they were going to make Barack Obama's Presidency the most significant since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930's and 1940's.

The election results convinced them they had a plenty big canvas and a lot of paint and they were going to cover it with brilliant colors from edge-to-edge.

Sean Hannity FREE

There was global warming - which, way back then, his people believed was based on real science and a full year before we would enjoy three feet of snow dumped upon us over a five day span.

There was labor law - card check would reverse decades of labor losses in the private sector, even though public sector labor unions were doing well.

There was America's reputation overseas - shattered by George W. Bush, which Obama would fix by (a) closing Guantanamo Bay; (b) getting out of Iraq; (c) nice-ing Iran and North Korea into submission; and, (d) turning over the governing of Afghanistan to Afghans.

There were also the issues of bailing out the financial system; bailing out the international insurance industry; and bailing out the U.S. automobile industry (see "labor law" above).

The unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in January 2009 but was on the way up and has remained stubbornly above 9.4 percent since July 2009.

And, there was health care, which is the only one left.

The White House along with the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate believed they could use their huge majorities to ram a Social Security-like health care plan through the Congress shortly after Labor Day, 2009 with a signing ceremony which would have rivaled that Obama election night event in Chicago.

Alas, those same legislative geniuses sent the Democratic Members of Congress home for the August recess with the equivalent of a major health care reform bill written in crayon on a three-by-five index card.

What happened? The dreaded TOWN HALLS happened. And whatever forward momentum the Ds had built up on a health care reform bill disintegrated right before their very eyes.


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 Mullings.com.