TeeJaw Blog

Michael Barone On Whether Pelosi Can Corral The Votes To Pass Obamacare

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, March 11, 2010, 8: 39 AM

In today’s Wall Street Journal Michael Barone analyzes the chances that Pelosi will have the votes in the House to pass the Senate version of Obamacare. Barone first notes that as of today she does not have the votes. [See the video in the post below of Pelosi’s mendacious performance for Charlie Rose] Then he gives a thorough review, as only Michael Barone can do, of the many problems and hurdles she will have to poll vault, high jump, sprint, crawl, slither, squirm and parachute in, out, and through in order to round up the votes.

If all the many problems Barone identifies become reality she could be as many as 40 votes short. With just one or two of those difficulties she could get close but still fall short. He allows that she could make it, but says the arithmetic doesn’t add up. He concludes with this:

Mrs. Pelosi, whom I have known for almost 30 years, may turn out to be even shrewder than I think. But she may be facing a moment as flummoxing as the one when Democratic Speaker Thomas Foley lost the vote on the rule to consider the crime and gun control bill in August 1994, or when Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert saw the Mark Foley scandal explode on the last day of the session in September 2006. Both were moments when highly competent and dedicated House speakers saw their majorities shattered beyond repair.

That moment, if it comes, will occur some time between now and the Easter recess. The Democrats’ struggle to get 216 votes is high stakes poker.

I don’t think Pelosi should play poker anytime soon. That she is lying on Charlie Rose is not shocking, House speakers always lie about how many votes they have so other members will want to get on the train. But she doesn’t do it convincingly enough to fool anyone.

At the end of the video below:

Rose: “When will healthcare pass?”

Pelosi: “Today. If we took it up today…” [phoney grin]

That’s a howler.

I don’t think she is shrewder than Michael Barone thinks she is.

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