Personalizing the Political

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 22, 2009 12:14 PM
If it's really true that President Obama told a Democratic congressman that "you're going to destroy my presidency" if ObamaCare wasn't passed, it's interesting -- and revealing.

As I noted below, there is obviously a White House strategy to try to personalize the health care debate, as President Obama's personal support is higher than public support for his agenda.

But his remark may indicate this is more than a strategy.  Just as Obama declared that he didn't want to run car companies -- as he took over GM -- he has insisted that health care "isn't about me."  Except, it seems, that he actually believes it is.  And his pleas about his presidency suggest that he is counting just as much (if not more) on the reservoir of good will that swept him into office as he is on the merits of any plan.

Experimenting for experiment's sake is bad.  "Change" for nothing more than the sake of "change" is also bad.  Let's hope that Democrats, Republicans -- and the President, too -- keep in mind that the President is right about at least one thing: It's not about President Obama at all.  It should be about helping regular Americans by making reforms that will improve the quality of health care without destroying innovation and freedom.

And if the President is hoping that the government's performance in running GM will reduce Americans' fear about the government running health care, he's in for a nasty shock:  Government Motors' sales fell 22% in the first half of 2009.