There were several statements Todd made that were noteworthy:
(1) He was surprised the President didn't apologize up front.
(2) The administration has no idea how to fix the mess it has created.
(3) The president isn't willing to concede that he prevaricated when he told Americans they could keep their insurance if they liked it.
(4) Perhaps the President should conduct townhalls with a high-profile Republican to demonstrate he is reaching out beyond the usual media elites to speak to Americans.
(5) The president thinks that the brouhaha over the disaster he has created has stoked furor inside the Beltway, but that he's not in as much trouble with the public as those in the media elite seem to believe.
That last insight blows my mind. He doesn't understand that people are really hurting?!
For two hours, taking calls, I heard every heartbreaking variety of hard-luck story that has resulted from ObamaCare. A man who was finally hired -- but then fired before he could start and told it was because of ObamaCare. Someone whose pregnant wife was kicked off his employer's health insurance, and who now has to find a job to be able to afford some (irony: Old women who don't need them are being required to buy maternity coverage; those who need it are having it taken away). A service provider whose hours were cut back because of ObamaCare -- and who now has to buy more expensive insurance with less income. And on. And on. And on.
The President needs to listen to tune in and hear these calls. He needs to hear the frustration -- and the fear -- in the voices of these good people. And more -- he needs to reach beyond the media elite interviews, and even the town halls, where he hears from "regular Americans" (because he will never be able to overcome the well-justified suspicion that these events are "stocked" with supporters).
He needs to come on with an unapologetic conservative who opposes ObamaCare -- someone tough but polite and fair -- who is not going to be as awed by the trappings of his office and who has at least a bit of a public following of his own. He needs to show that he is willing to try to answer the questions and solve the problems of even those who disagree with him.
We'll be a long time waiting. In the President's world, I suspect there are only two types of Americans: His supporters, and his enemies.
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