Obama has an offer for Democrats who pledge to support the Senate’s health care bill that might be met with some trepidation:
Obama intends to lobby wavering House Democrats to vote for a Senate version of the legislation and to support the subsequent reconciliation process, which Republicans have characterized as an unjustified use of majority power. Among the rewards Obama is ready to offer, White House officials said, are election-year visits to competitive congressional districts.
Given the fate of those Democrats Obama has personally campaigned for so far, this is a little like Typhoid Mary saying, “If you’re not feeling well, give me a call and I’ll come over and sneeze on you.” Some Missouri Democrats obviously had that on their minds as well, because they stayed clear of Obama during his visit.
And if all else fails, Obama is relying on “feats of strength” to intimidate members of Congress who might be on the fence, as evidenced below in St. Louis yesterday, where Obama had a spirited hand grip contest with Claire McCaskill:
McCaskill won, in case it isn’t obvious.