You may ask: “Why is Obama constantly going around making speeches about health care? We get it, Obama. Now please do some other President-type stuff.”
This constant stumping for health care reform is allowing for charges that Obama is a narcissist who loves to hear himself talk about these issues. It also makes him look like he’s got everything riding on health care, which means that it makes him look bad if it gets defeated. Why, people ask, won’t he quit talking about it and let Congress sort it out?
The reason is that Obama–more specifically, Obama’s charisma–is the Democrats only asset at this point. It is a great asset–but, as I’ve often said, you can’t transfer charisma. It seems to me that it can help you get elected–it almost guarantees it, in fact–and it can give you all sorts of power; but it can’t really make people like things that they aren’t predisposed to like. It makes for an eminently electable politician–so, from a career point of view it’s a great asset–but it’s not all that is required for endless legislative victories.
This is where the Elway analogy comes in. He was a great Quarterback, yet for much of his career, his Broncos came up short in the big game. They were mediocre teams, yet he was able to drag them into having some success, but never a Championship.
It’s very valuable to have a great Quarterback. You can get pretty far with that and nothing else. But you can’t get it all with just him. Elway finally won two rings late in his career when Denver finally got him a good running back in Terrell Davis, and a good coach in Mike Shanahan. Perhaps someday Obama will get a good supporting cast.
Unless Obama is somehow involved, the Democrats do not have the ability to pass health care. Their only hope is to let him use his natural charisma to persuade voters that it’s a necessary reform–but, as I’ve said, charisma can only get a person elected–I don’t know if it can actually change peoples’ minds on an issue.