Blame Game

Has Obama Lost His Discipline?

Barack Obama's presidential campaign was known for its ability to stay on-message and maintain tight discipline. Some of the president's strongest supporters say those attributes have been largely missing as Obama has tried to push his health-care reform plan through this summer. Polling numbers out this week have shown that many Americans do not believe the president when he tells them health care will not be available to illegal immigrants or that there are no "death panels" lurking in the proposals before Congress. "It is a learning experience, a major initiative like this in the first year,’" Howard Dean told the Boston Globe. "It is a different kind of campaign and that’s why they had trouble with the message. I don’t think they were prepared for the vociferousness of the attack." Obama got an earful from callers yesterday during a radio interview. "Passing a big bill like this is always messy," he said. Former Clinton adviser and Daily Beast contributor Paul Begala has some surprising advice for the president: "This is heretical, but I would explain less," Begala told the newspaper. "When you get into the minute details of a 1,000-page bill, you lose people in the weeds."