‘Top Line’ — Can Obama Close the Deal with Democrats?

Mar 5, 2010 3:17pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: After a year of give-and-take, we’re back where we started with health care reform: Democrats have the votes to pass it, but aren’t sure they want to do so.

That raises the question — our “Top Line” question of the day — what more can President Obama do to convince Democrats to back health care reform?

Just a touch of sarcasm from @casomega: “O should offer to campaign for them – bwah ha ha ha.”

We chatted about it on ABC’s “Top Line” with Jeff Zeleny, who covers the White House for The New York Times. He mentioned one particularly delicate conversation Obama might be having with one set of Democrats:

“I think one thing he could say — and this is kind of sensitive: ‘You could lose anyways so why not vote for it?’ I think there’s a collection of people, a collection of House members who are in very imperiled districts, and they’re chances aren’t that great, so why not vote for it?” Zeleny said.

And on the wave of bad news hitting Democrats this week — particularly regarding ethics lapses: “I think it’s the beginning of a potential real problem for Democrats,” Zeleny said. “Is it as bad as ’06 at this point? No, I don’t think it is. It’s certainly better for them now than the Mark Foley scandal happened in October [to Republicans], some one month before the election. It’s different. But you know, the building blocks are there for a problem.”

(We got Zeleny’s Oscar pick too: He’s going with “Up in the Air” for Best Picture. David Chalian is picking “Avatar,” and I’m going with “Hurt Locker.”)

Watch the “Top Line” segment with Jeff Zeleny HERE.

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