Optimism And Pessimism About Pelosi's Votes

Does she have them? Some Dems say they could change their minds on health care

Does she have the votes? Or doesn't she? The arbiters of conventional wisdom can't seem to make their minds. But the AP has surveyed the 39 Democrats who voted no on the House health care bill, and at least ten of them are on the record as saying they're open to changing their minds. That means, of course, that they're getting telephone calls from President Obama.

Three of them -- Brian Baird of Washington, Bart Gordon of Tennessee and John Tanner of Tennessee -- are not seeking re-election this fall.

The others are Rick Boucher of Virginia, Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Michael McMahon of New York, Walt Minnick of Idaho, Scott Murphy of New York and Glenn Nye of Virginia. Several lawmakers' offices did not reply to the AP queries.

We keep anointing the next big event Obama holds as the most important of his term, but whatever he says on Wednesday could well be the difference between health care passing and failing. That's one reason why he is going to spend quite a bit of time discussing the deficit, debt, and the Republican ideas he heard at the summit. This provides needed cover members of the House.

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