The Speech

Derek Jeter is chasing history, and there was other work to do too, so I haven’t watched the speech yet. I may have a post about it later, but I doubt it. I probably won’t have anything to add, and it probably won’t be worth remarking on anyway.

One thing I will say though, is that the Obama administration timed it perfectly. Plenty of people have noted that Bill Clinton did something similar, giving a September 1993 address on healthcare reform to Congress, which was exceptionally done, very well received…and completley useless. The reason for that, simply, was timing in the process. Clinton gave his speech as a sort of kickoff to the entire reform effort, which as we all know now was a massive mistake. Whatever room was opened by the successful speech closed sometime in the two full months that passed before the administration even submitted a bill to Congress, and was even further gone by the time Congress was even close to finished haggling over reform. By contrast, Obama is essentially kicking off the final stages of the process. Finance is set to kick out a bill, which will be reconciled with the HELP version and considered by the full Senate. We may have to take that to reconcilliation, withing two months we’ll probably have some sort of final bill out of Congress. The adminisration has taken some heat from all sides on how they’ve hanled the politics of this, but I think they deserve some credit for how they’ve conserved the ability of the President to step in and apply pressure, at the right time, to the debate.