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Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

Yin and Yang



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In today’s Washington Post, old Washington hand and political expert Norm Ornstein praises President Obama for his flexible, hands-off approach to selling his health-care plan. In today’s Wall Street Journal, old Washington hand and political expert Gerald Seib criticizes President Obama’s flexible, hands-off approach to selling his health-care plan. So who’s right?

There’s a reason both of these guys are old Washington hands (OWHs). Unless the entire health-care package goes down in flames, something few OWHs are predicting, both will be able to point to developments that vindicate their approach. If something passes, Ornstein will be able to say that the Obama flexibility enabled the president to win a big victory, and Seib will say that if Obama had pressed harder earlier, he would have achieved more than he did. Unlike baseball or even election predictions, these kinds of analyses have a certain flexibility to them, perhaps even the very flexibility that Ornstein praises, so I guess by that measure, Ornstein trumps Seib.



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