I have no idea what Rahm was talking about when he said what he said to the WSJ.
Well apparently the White House has realized that what Rahm said just won't do and Obama has sent a message all the way from Russia affirming that the White House wants the public option in health care reform.
What ever happened to Obama team message control? Obama has had to walk back Biden's comments from Sunday in terms of "misreading the economy" (Obama told the Today Show today that "misread" wasn't correct but that the info they got was "incomplete" because they didn't have the 1st quarter's GDP which fell close to 6%) and Biden's possible "greenlighting Israel attack on Iran" (Obama said absolutely not in an interview with CNN from Russia).
Well now Obama is walking back Rahm's comment to the WSJ about the trigger for the public option.
WALKING BACK RAHM? A day after his chief of staff suggested the White House could live with a public option-free health care reform bill, President Obama released a statement (from Russia!) reaffirming his support for a government-run health care plan:
"I am pleased by the progress we're making on health care reform and still believe, as I've said before, that one of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices, and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest. I look forward to a final product that achieves these very important goals."
I have a feeling that when Axelrod saw what Rahm said he hit the roof and immediately notified Obama. Obama is now walking back Rahm's statement.
Making lemonade out of lemons is that now the White House will be much more forceful in making sure a public option is in the health care reform bill. Now because of Rahms' stupid comments, there is MUCH MORE PRESSURE on the White House from progressives on health care reform.
Like I said many times, the House will NOT vote the health care reform package if there is no public option or there is a trigger. That is the line I feel the House will put in the sand for the White House. However, what may be negotiable is more just how strong the public option will be: will it be one like the House version? will it be one like the HELP committee's? Will it be the Schumer compromise?
This week the Obama team who normally is on message got off message. Health care and the economy are just too important for the Obama team to be off message. MESSAGE DISCIPLINE PLEASE.
Later in the day, Sanders offered a similarly critical reaction.
"Emanuel is dead wrong," Sanders said. "The triggers are meaningless. The American people have shown in poll after poll their contempt for private health insurance companies. They don't trust them and for good reason.
And Senator Sanders says what ALL of us know is damn true:
"Now, where we are right now politically is the HELP Committee, of which I'm a member, is going to bring forth a public plan," Sanders added. "The House of Representatives is supporting a public plan. And President Obama ran for office talking about a strong public plan. Why, with that political reality of the American people wanting it, the House going forward, the Senate HELP Committee going forward, would Rahm Emanuel suggest that we would compromise on this issue?"