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Jennifer Donahue Headshot

President Obama Needs to Leader Up

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Embrace the fact that Brown is the new Red in America.

Yesterday's Massachusetts vote left pundits who were in denial about the independence of Independents nationally backpedalling. (Except me: read last Tuesday's Republicans Have Already Won MA Senate Race). Here is the headline: If this hurts, Democrats need to man up before voters repudiate their party en masse next November.

Voters feel their power. That was what they felt when they voted for President Obama and that is what they felt when they voted for Senator-Elect Scott Brown. Voter Up. Nurture the indies and reach out to the base. President Obama: accept the fact the Indies are your base.

Obama should show the Senate and House the door on health care before voters do in November. Something like, "We appreciate your hard work on the bill but now I'm taking over." Leader up.

Pelosi said yesterday she will do anything to pass the elements of the House version of health care reform; the one Americans just told us they don't want. The Brown victory is a huge
repudiation of Pelosi and the House bill, as well as Senator Reid and the overloaded Senate bill.

President Obama: do you want to put a gun to the head of moderate Democrats? It is much more difficult to hold real battleground states than to hold than Massachusetts.

A cross-section of American people have said not what they want but what they don't want. Hear it now, or face the wrath in November.

Do what Bill Clinton did after the 1994 health care rebuff: re-group and move to the center. There are elements of the Senate bill that can still pass: pre-existiing conditions, wellness care, filling the donut hole for seniors. Make it a modest bill, work with Himbo Scott Brown, and make it a small but notable victory.

It would show that the White House is not tone deaf. It would allow your party live to fight another day.