The Campaign Spot

Vote Count Vertigo: A Retiring Democrat Turns Down the Suicide Squad Offer?

Pelosi’s “Suicide Squad” consists of nine possible House Democrats going from “no” to “yes” on health care.

The lone Republican who voted for it last fall, Joseph Cao of Louisiana, has said he’s voting “no” on the current version. (Another “no” vote among the Democrats last time, Parker Griffith, is now a Republican.)

I thought Cao was the lone announced “yes” to flip to “no,” but he may soon have company:

But as a member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, Mr. Cardoza is not convinced that Mr. Obama’s bill offers the right prescription. It lacks anti-abortion language he favors, and he does not think it goes far enough in cutting costs. So while he voted for the House version — “with serious reservations,” he said — he is now on the fence.

“I think we can do better,” Mr. Cardoza said of the president’s proposal…

Some, notably Representative Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat for whom the amendment is named, will almost certainly switch their yes votes to no because the new version being pushed by Mr. Obama would strip out the House bill’s abortion restrictions in favor of Senate language that many of them consider unacceptable.

Interestingly, one of the nine potential members of the Suicide Squad may have decided to turn down the offer: Tennessee Democrat John Tanner “has told colleagues he has no intention of switching his vote, said one Democratic lawmaker who has spoken with him.”

If you can’t get a guy who’s retiring to flip, why should the six who don’t plan to retire take that offer?