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General Analysis of President Obama's Speech on Health Care

Friday, September 11, 2009

An analysis of President Obama's speech on health care to the Congress and the American people will go on for weeks and possibly months. Finally President Obama took front and center and described his health care plan. As expected, there was mixed reaction to his speech. President Obama is standing strong on his will to push through his health care plan. With his version of the health care plan, President Obama must sway enough Senators in both the House and the Senate to get the mandate needed to push his health care plan into law. But still unknown is what the bill will actually contain once it reaches his desk for signature. Still, I feel confident that President Obama will be successful in a health care reform bill this year.

Specticle during his Speech -


During his speech on what will be called the most important item on his domestic agenda for his first year in office, President Obama received mixed support for his plan. At one time during his speech, President Obama said that illegal immigrants would not benefit from health insurance coverage from the reform bill. At that moment in his speech, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled out that President Obama is a 'liar'. He name-called the President in one of the highest chambers of the land, in front of all of his colleges and on national television that was also carried worldwide. During that moment, President Obama hesitated with his speech to glance over to Joe Wilson, but then continued with his speech, in a very determined posture. Joe Wilson truly was exercising the free speech amendment as is proof that this is the land of the free. Comments like that spoken directly to the President would land people in jail in other countries. As credit to Joe Wilson, he quickly apologized to President Obama, and the President gladly accepted his apology. Joe Wilson will forever in history be known as the 'heckler' during the Obama Speech. His actions were very disturbing to his own colleges in his party, and there was an uprising for days, some people supporting him and others denouncing what he had done.
President Obama's forgiving attitude far surpassed the effects of the outburst by Joe Wilson before the entire Congress. President Obama is showing that he is effectively reaching across the isle and is able to communicate with the conservative party.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Democratic leaders immediately called on Wilson to apologize, and he did so in a statement that said he’d let his emotions get the better of him.

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” Wilson said.

“While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable.  I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

House Democratic Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called Wilson's outburst "embarrassing," while McCain said it was "totally disrespectful" and that there was "no place for it in that setting or any other."

McCain said Wilson “should apologize for it immediately.”

Clyburn said South Carolina was already suffering because of Gov. Mark Sanford. "Now we got one of out Congresspeople to drive our reputation to a new low."

Sanford has endured calls for his resignation after admitting to an affair.

Another Democratic leader, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), said who ever made the remark should apologize but did not name Wilson.

The incident was reminiscent of the town halls across the country that came to define Obama and the Democratic Party's problems with health care during a tough August recess. Democratic senators and House members, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) were frequently heckled by constituents during the town halls, and the rowdiest events became staples of cable news.

Hoyer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in August penned a letter to USA Today that termed those trying to shout down lawmakers or fellow citizens at town halls “un-American.”

Obama's speech to Congress on Wednesday was intended to regain control of the debate for the White House.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said he has never witnessed such a scene in 35 years of watching presidential addresses.

"I've never seen anything like it," Leahy said. "I talked to a number of my Republican friends on the way out who were mortified and angry that someone would do that.

"I've been in situations with presidents with whom I absolutely disagreed with," said Leahy, who had a memorable exchange in 2004 on the Senate floor with Vice President Dick Cheney. After criticizing the vice president about his ties to Halliburton, Cheney used an obscenity with Leahy.

Still, Leahy said he hadn't seen anything like a lawmaker calling the president a liar during an address to Congress.

“But nobody — nobody — ever has done anything like that,” he said. “He is the head of government for our country.”



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