Noah Rothman at Mediaite offers some interesting analysis of what it means that the President is finally being interviewed by Chris Matthews:
For years, MSNBC host Chris Matthews has been sitting patiently behind the emergency glass waiting for President Barack Obama to come wildly swinging the ax of panic. As recently as August, Matthews cited Obama’s careful avoidance of the network, which just last month was forced to discipline two hosts for conduct so indefensible they could not continue to represent MSNBC, as an indication of his and his colleagues’ neutrality. On Tuesday, the air raid sirens blared and the president came screaming out of the fog begging for aid. Matthews’ interview with the President of the United States will air on Thursday.
This is just the latest in a recent spate of poorly conceived, ill-timed strategic decisions this White House has made since the end of the government shutdown and the cosmic implosion of the Affordable Care Act. The political identity of Democrats – both in the grassroots and in Congress – is so inexorably tied to the ACA that they cannot abide the level of negative press this law has received continually since mid-October. The party’s left-wing, besieged and disoriented, is dragging the president by the nose into one bad move after the next.
I’m not sure that the Chris Matthews interview is necessarily a “bad move.” It is hard to see any politically “good moves” that are open to the president.
And ethical move would be to propose legislation undoing the Affordable Care Act, but it would be politically disastrous.
Perhaps it is a bad move because it really provides more evidence that President Obama knows his speech yesterday did nothing to improve his situation. The website not only isn’t fixed, but it promises a disaster in January when people who think they have enrolled find out that the website never got them a policy. As Rothman pointed out, “Again, no matter. The crisis that these errors will create in January is January’s problem. Today’s crisis, one of internal cohesion within the Democratic Party, is more acute.”
Obama averred in his speech that “we’re not going back,” and that “we’re not repealing it as long as I’m president.” This sounds desperate to me. Typically, the Administration simply ignores issues they don’t want to deal with. I haven’t heard anyone in the White House bother to deny the security problems in the website, for example.
So if Obama is now openly acknowledging the push to end the law, then I think he realizes it is a serious threat.