1. Too little Obama? Unlike the question and answer events, this summit features Democratic congressional leaders who just had to give long speeches that added little to the politics or policy. It's necessary for optics, but when even MSNBC cuts away whenever, say, Steny Hoyer starts speaking, it's telling.

2. Process: President Obama and the Democrats didn't anticipate the challenge from Lamar Alexander over process; the format has allowed Republicans to skillfully make the point that they've been shut out of the debate. However, depending on how you look it, it made Republicans look small -- with the President seeming sincere in coming back with a solution and a plea to talk about ideas in good faith -- and Republicans are just making demands about the process. Also, it's just false that "no one has talked about reconciliation," as Sen. Harry Reid said. A few senators have, publicly, and everyone is talking about it privately.

3. Tom Coburn, citing some correct and some dubious statistics about Medicare and medical malpractice reform, has come across as the most eloquent speaker.

4. Obama as moderator: when Republicans start to off on tangents, Obama is forced to try and keep the discussion to the agenda, which makes it formulaic.

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