The Campaign Spot

Obama: I Didn’t Actually Talk To Any Skeptical House Members

Obama, yesterday:

“I was on the phone every day with Secretary Paulson and the congressional leaders, making sure that the principles that have ultimately been adopted were incorporated into the bill,” Obama told CBS’s Bob Schieffer, explaining, “I think, [that] is an indication of the degree to which, when it comes to protecting taxpayers, I was pushing very hard and involved in shaping those provisions.” 

The New York Times, today:

Aides to Mr. Obama said he had not directly reached out to try to sway any House Democrats who opposed the measure. But where Mr. McCain had accused Mr. Obama of taking a hands-off approach to the financial crisis, Democratic advisers said they believed that Mr. McCain now had a role in the legislation’s failure.

(Hat tip, MKH.) Why was Obama talking to the cabinet official and congressional leaders who were already on board than the rank-and-file of his own party who were skeptical? Why didn’t he talk to the three Democrats from Chicago who opposed the bill? Why didn’t he talk to the twelve Democrats on the banking committee who opposed the bill?
This is the persuasion equivalent of “voting present.”


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