Last night/this morning: Mike Allen/Politico puts out stories quoting anonymous Democrats that Obama told Senate leaders he met with last night that he still favored Olympia Snowe’s trigger; none of the Senators confirms this. Allen also floats preposterous claim that Pelosi doesn’t have votes for [any] public option and is considering a trigger.
7:50 a.m. Greg Sargent/PlumLine, White House Clarifies . . .
The Times reports that when Reid signaled “his inclination to add the public option to the bill,” Obama “asked questions, but did not express a preference at the meeting.”
But the senior White House official points out that the discussion was not about the public option in general. Rather, Reid was specifically raising the possibility of a public option with an opt-out clause as one potential route. On this specific policy option, the official says, “the White House did not state a position either way.”
8:42 and 8:56 a.m. TPM explains why Allen’s House reporting is confused on House support for a public option and dead wrong on a trigger.
TPM also shows video of Valerie Jarrett appearing on Morning Joe to deny Obama is favoring a trigger and insists the President is working for a public option, which he thinks is the best approach.
10:21 a.m. [updated] Sam Stein and Ryan Grim/HuffPo Seething Dems Hit Back on Report Public Option is Dead in House
“Speculation that a final decision has been made about the public option are not accurate,” read a statement issued by the Speaker’s deputy communications director
Nadeam Elshami. “We continue to work with all the members of the caucus to build consensus.”
“It’s not true. No decisions have been made,” said Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) . . .
Indeed, a Senate aide whose boss was in the meeting said that Obama was “non-committal” on which approach he preferred, though he was “skeptical” on a proposal that would allow states to opt-out of a national public plan. Another aide whose boss was also in the room said that Obama “stopped short” of embracing the so-called trigger idea.
11:15 updated 1:38 p.m. Jason Links/HuffPo — White House, Lawmakers, Knock down Politico Article on Public Option
12:36 p.m. Michael O’Brien/The Hill Obama Working to Get Public Option
. . . Deputy White House Secretary Bill Burton said that President Barack Obama is working on votes in the Senate.
“I will say that the president continues to think that the public option is the best way to achieve choice and competition, and that’s what he’s working toward,” Burton said during a press gaggle on Air Force One this morning.
12:37 [updated 4:35 p.m.] Stein/Grim HuffPo Reid is Only One or Two Votes Shy of an Opt Out Public Option, but . . .
Reid doesn’t intend to drag the decision out. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told HuffPost that when he asked the leader on Wednesday if he could send Reid a letter reiterating his support for a strong public option, Reid told him to hurry.
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/23/reid-is-only-one-or-two-v_n_331652.html
3:11 p.m. Brian Buelter/TPM —Sources: White House Pushing Back Against Senate Public Option Opt Out Compromise
Multiple sources tell TPMDC that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is very close to rounding up 60 members in support of a public option with an opt out clause, and are continuing to push skeptical members. But they also say that the White House is pushing back against the idea, in a bid to retain the support of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
“They’re skeptical of opt out and are generally deferential to the Snowe strategy that involves the trigger,” said one source close to negotiations between the Senate and the White HOuse. “they’re certainly not calming moderate’s concerns on opt out.”
3:28 p.m. Ezra Klein And Ezra sums it up: “The WH basically told [Reid] ‘We hope you guys know what you’re doing.'”
So, everybody clear?
That is just a sample of the claims/counterclaims that have come out in the last 24 hours. Some of these stories are based on named sources (or close, like “aides to Senators in the meeting”), but several are not. I don’t see any basis for granting total anonymity to these sources and lots of reasons why they should be put on the record, especially when different sources have different agendas and they’re claiming contradictory positions. That would help us understand what the White House and Reid are up to.