Last week was a historical senate vote in Massachusetts of near epic proportions. Essentially, it became a referendum on the President Obama’s first year in office, in general, and the healthcare debate, in particular. The result of the contest did not bode well for our President. I wonder if he’s listening, really listening, to what the people have said. What I do know is that his demeanor is more subdued and he has lost a bit of his swagger.
In politics, our elected officials, including President Obama, have one of three primary goals, which becomes the focus for what they do and say:
- Their job is to serve the will of the people,
- Their goal is be re-elected, or
- Their intent is to advance an ideology.
They can’t do all three; ultimately, only one will be their true and overarching focus. That means:
- If President Obama’s views his real job as to serve the people, he will respond to their message and do an about-face on healthcare. He may not drop it completely, but at the very least, he will reverse course, providing what the people want.
- If President Obama’s true goal is to be re-elected, he will distance himself from this hot potato in order to avoid committing political suicide.
- If President Obama’s genuine intent is to advance an ideology, then he will doggedly stay the course.
I don’t see him doing options 1 or 2, so we will likely see him continue his unrelenting push for a healthcare overhaul — even if it’s not what the majority want or if it will render him a one-term President.
The State of the Union address tomorrow may shed some light on what we can reasonably expect.