President Barack Obama's weekend concession on a health care "government option" drew complaints from liberals and scarce interest from Republicans and other critics on Monday, a fresh sign of the daunting challenge in finding middle ground in an increasingly partisan political struggle.
The White House insisted there had been no shift in position, adding the president still favors a federal option for the sale of health insurance. "The bottom line is this: Nothing has changed," said a memo containing suggested answers for administration allies to use if asked about the issue.
But some supporters of health care overhaul sounded less than reassured.
Barack Obama's vow to quell "slash and burn" politics, which helped sweep him to the presidency, is facing a decisive test in the angry echo-chamber imperiling his health reform drive.
"Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?" Obama asked in the 2004 Democratic convention speech which rocketed him into the public eye.
Bowing to Republican pressure, President Barack Obama's administration signaled on Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system.
Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama's liberal supporters but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers.
President Barack Obama, in an Op Ed in today's New York Times, says health care reform will become a reality and predicts a legislative package will pass Congress soon.
"And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices," the President writes. "What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them."
Family in tow for a tour of national treasures far from Washington, President Barack Obama is trailed by criticism from gun opponents and parks advocates for allowing firearms into such majestic places as this.
"There is still time for Congress and the president to take steps to keep loaded firearms away from the valleys of Yellowstone, the cliffs of Yosemite, and the Statue of Liberty — but they need to act quickly," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
President Barack Obama is using political tactics and rhetorical devices honed in his White House campaign to regain the upper hand in the health care debate over increasingly vocal and organized critics.
In person and over the Internet, Obama is trying to counter intense public skepticism over Democratic plans to overhaul the health care system. It's his top domestic priority and arguably his most challenging political fight yet.
They wish he'd done more in his first eight months, but the liberal bloggers who helped propel Barack Obama to the White House are far from giving up on him.
Gathered in Pittsburgh for the annual Netroots Nation convention, they say they're not disappointed. At least not too disappointed. Yet.
If politics is a meal being served up by the new president, they're just looking for something to at least sweeten the bland, sometimes bitter fare they've grown to expect in Washington.
President Barack Obama's push to revamp health care got a boost Thursday as a new coalition of drug makers, unions, hospitals and others launched a $12 million pro-overhaul ad campaign. Meanwhile, the administration sought to regain control of the health care debate by asking supporters to forward a chain e-mail to counter criticism that's circulating on the Internet.
There's a certain irony here.
The 20th century community organizer who used 21st century tools for his people-powered White House campaign now finds himself besieged by citizens airing their grievances at 19th century-inspired town hall style meetings.
Barack Obama's top legislative goal hangs in the balance and his popularity is suffering as critics co-opt his tech-savvy organizing methods, tag him as a boogyman and disrupt local gatherings on his proposed health care overhaul.
Is the groundbreaking campaigner, whose White House political arm is aptly called Organizing for America, being outmaneuvered?
"That's a fair summary of where things are at the moment," said Sanford Horwitt, a biographer of Saul Alinsky, the father of community organizing.
"The other side has the anger and the intensity, and Obama's side doesn't," Horwitt said. Harking back to the presidential campaign's tactics and success, Horwitt said, "This really first-rate community organizing has not revealed itself in the first months he's been in office, particularly when it comes to the health care issue."
The White House and its allies claim the protests are simply a fake grass-roots movement — "astroturfing" — but a USA Today/Gallup Poll this week found that most Americans believe the protesters' sentiments are genuine.
President Barack Obama is turning his eyes West and hitting the Web as he steps up his counteroffensive against critics of a proposed health care overhaul.
Obama assailed "wild misrepresentations" of his health care plan Tuesday during a town hall-style meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., taking on the role of fact-checker-in-chief for his top domestic priority. It's a strategy he will employ at two more town halls this week in Montana and Colorado, and on the White House Web site.
To that end, the Obama-aligned Democratic National Committee is running health care overhaul ads nationally on cable channels and in spots the president will visit, joining a chorus of ads that has become a cacophony over a problem that has vexed Washington for decades.