1. Sen. Harry Reid's decision will generate an intense negative reaction among activist Democrats and liberals. Bad Harry, weak Harry. But I suspect that the ratcheting down of pressure will be somewhat of a relief to the Finance Committee negotiators. Less pressure means more time to think -- and to haggle civilly, as opposed to haggling with a looming deadline.
2. The journalistic schema heading into the weekend will be that unless Obama gets a "gamechanger," health care reform is dead. Props to the journalist who manages to at least modify this metaphor and posits that Obama needs to get inside his opponents' OODA loop. I don't agree with this schema, but the opposite schema -- this is a deceptively good development for the Democrats -- is equally as intellectually unsatisfying.
Marc Ambinder is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.