Usually, when Tom Harkin talks about the public option he pledges that the Senate will pass a strong one for President Obama to sign into law. In a Tuesday interview with MSNBC's Ed Schultz, however, he left open the possibility that Harry Reid's "opt-out" public option will be weakened even further because "there's always room to accomodate people."
SCHULTZ: Will the Senate bill do more than 6 million people on the public option? Can you give us a higher number?
HARKIN: That I can't give you right now Ed. Because...let me put it this way: the public option we have in the bill right now, I believe is a good compromise. That's the one that says there will be a public option and a state can opt out if they want to.
SCHULTZ: But last night's meeting -- no more compromises, you've gone as far as you're going to go. Right?
HARKIN: Well, you know, Ed, I never say never. There's always room to accomadate people. And don't forget we still have to go to conference on this after it gets out of the Senate.
There's a picture of Joe Lieberman next to the "Put Up or Shut Up" graphic on the screen. The same could be said of Senate progressives. If they get rolled on this, there's no reason to take them seriously on anything else they say.