For Obama, It Got Late Early...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jul 23, 2009 8:52 AM
I was prepared for President Obama to knock one out of the park last night. 

In fact, my suspicion was that he would give a speech so good that passing some sort of health care bill before the August recess would have been almost inevitable. 

After all, he is a great speaker.  And he is still a new enough president to be able to will things into existence -- through the use of the bully pulpit -- and the force of his personality.

It didn't happen. 

I don't think his talk last night changed one vote.  In fact, I think he may have actually emboldened Republicans who no longer believe him to be the inevitable victor whom they cannot fathom defeating.

Of course, he could still twist some arms behind closed doors and get something passed.  Still, what is there to say about a new president who can't rely on the bully pulpit this early in his administration?  In a similar situation, Ronald Reagan would have delivered last night.  Bill Clinton would have, too.  But President Obama seemed to be hedging his bets last night, afraid -- or unable -- to pull out all the stops.

Is the president losing his mojo this soon?  It's still early, but the words of Yogi Berra are starting to ring true: "It gets late early out there."