President Obama is all over the airwaves, appearing on news shows, speaking at televised rallies and, now, even appearing on David Letterman. He has recognized that he needs to be in the fight for health care reform, not only to help build popular support for his reforms but to bolster wavering Democrats. The reform effort is now so thoroughly associated with the President’s political standing, that to oppose the reform is to cripple his presidency.
This is important because there are some conservative Democratic senators who might prefer not to vote for the eventual plan that emerges. And, with fifty-nine votes, and hopefully a sixtieth coming from Massachusetts if that commonwealth’s notoriously fractious legislature does the right thing, the President does not have a vote to spare if he is to avoid a filibuster that would kill the plan.