Many people have been waiting for President Obama to assert himself in the health care debate, and we may see some of that tonight, as Blanche Lincoln goes to the White House for a one-on-one meeting. It should be noted that the last ConservaDem in recent weeks to visit the White House for a Presidential powwow was Evan Bayh, and within a matter of weeks, he announced that he would allow the health care bill to move forward without joining a Republican-led filibuster. With Lincoln the only ConservaDem up for re-election in 2010, Democratic leaders have at least some leverage against her, though there may be more in her recently acquired and coveted chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Meanwhile, Alexander Bolton writes a preposterous piece in The Hill about Harry Reid getting assurances from Joe Lieberman that he won’t obstruct a final health care vote. I don’t know who this “Joe Lieberman” is that Bolton’s talking about, but the one who votes on Capitol Hill has made himself pretty clear about this. He said just on Sunday that he would use “all his power as a Senator” to block a bill with a public option. He has no loyalty to the caucus and probably a decent grudge against it. The sources for this leak are unnamed and not related to Reid, whose office declined comment. So I don’t think this should reassure anyone.
However, we are at least reaching a point where the final wayward Senators needed to get the bill over the line are getting the attention of the Majority Leader – and the President.
UPDATE: The fact that Lieberman’s office is referring people to a spokesman’s comment to the National Review kind of tells you everything about the accuracy of that report in The Hill. “Senator Lieberman’s clear position is that he will vote for the motion to proceed to the health-care bill because he supports health-care reform that will control costs and insure people who don’t have it now, but will oppose cloture on a final bill if it contains a public option.”