Rejected: Inside President Obama's Ill-Fated Turn as Health Care Pitchman |

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President Obama is re-launching his health care plan for the umpteenth time today by promoting Medicare rebate checks that
more than nine in 10 Medicare beneficiaries will never receive.  It’s another in a long line of false starts and mishaps for the Obama Administration’s attempt to sell its government takeover of health care.  By now, this monstrosity has been rebooted, recast, renewed, refreshed, retooled, revamped, repackaged, rehabilitated, revived, and recharged.  Despite all this communications ‘stimulus,’ the American people’s strong opposition to this government takeover of health care, with its Medicare cuts and job-killing tax hikes, hasn’t changed. 

Nevertheless, President Obama remains singularly possessed with talking up this health care law in the false hope that this is all merely a marketing problem, not a policy problem.  But with evidence that the new law is already
crushing small businesses continuing to mount, the last thing we need is another tired, unconvincing PR blitz to mask the fact that it will increase costs, destroy jobs, and add to the deficit.  It’s time for President Obama to face facts and start listening to the American people so we can repeal this job-killing health care law and replace it with common-sense reforms that lower costs and protect American jobs.

SPRING 2010: “CNN poll … most Americans continue to oppose the passage of the health care bill…”

June 7, 2010: “Tomorrow, Democrats and the White House will hold more than 100 simultaneous events nationwide as President Obama plunges back into health reform, selling the historic plan all over again…” (Politico Playbook)  “White House Mounts PR Blitz for Health Care Reform” (AOL News)

May 18, 2010: “White House seeks missing health bounce. The White House is aggressively touting the new healthcare law after failing to see an immediate bounce in polls from congressional approval of the legislation.” (The Hill)

May 11, 2010: “White House health-care campaign begins.  The Obama administration's campaign to sell the new health-care law to a skeptical public is beginning to take shape…” (The Washington Post )

May 8, 2010: “President Barack Obama on Saturday touted the benefits of his healthcare overhaul, renewing a bid to counter Republican criticism and ease public doubts more than a month after he signed reform into law.” (Reuters)

April 22, 2010: “Stephanie Cutter, the Democratic communications strategist who spearheaded the White House effort last year to win Senate confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, is returning to the Obama administration to help sell the newly passed health care bill.” (The New York Times)

WINTER 2010: “Poll: Obama Health Care Marks Hit New Low

March 24, 2010: Clearly, inside the White House there is acknowledgement that Republicans outmaneuvered Democrats in the weeks after the stimulus bill passed and did a better job of defining for the public what was in that bill. …  The White House is determined to learn from that experience. ‘Obama and the Democrats won't make the same mistake,’ said Thomas Mann, who studies Congress for the Brookings Institution.” (CongressDaily)

March 22, 2010: “President Obama is set to begin an immediate public relations blitz aimed at turning around Americans' opinion of the health-care bill.”  (The Washington Post)

March 16, 2010: “President Obama is touting the latest version of health care reform as a measure that should draw bipartisan support -- and in a way, it does. Both sides hate it.  In the windup to final consideration of reform, the White House is honing its message… (Washington Examiner)

March 13, 2010: “President Barack Obama’s pollster said the healthcare bill will win over public support once it becomes law despite polls showing Americans against the plan.” (The Hill)

February 15, 2010: “White House officials are retooling the administration’s communications strategy to produce faster responses to political adversaries… Obama has publicly expressed frustration recently that his broader message, especially on health-care reform and the economy, has not been received.” (The Washington Post)

FALL 2009: “Polling shows Democrats losing health care PR fight

December 22, 2009: “With a health care overhaul inching closer to reality, Democrats have begun devising and testing arguments to persuade a skeptical public that passage of the bill justifies keeping President Barack Obama's party in power in the 2010 elections.”  (Chicago Tribune)

September 21, 2009: “The president’s Sunday blitz … marked yet another effort to explain to a divided public why he is trying to remake the healthcare system.”  (Los Angeles Times)

September 7, 2009:Obama prepares to try to reclaim lost ground in health debate — again.  … Obama’s heavily anticipated address to a joint session of Congress comes just six weeks after the White House tried to reclaim the healthcare debate in a nationally televised primetime press conference.” (The Hill)

September 2, 2009: “Eager to turn the page after a politically damaging month, President Barack Obama will launch a new push next week to overhaul health care, highlighted by an evening address next Wednesday to a joint session of Congress.” (McClatchy Newspapers)

SUMMER 2009: “NBC/WSJ poll: Obama loses ground on health care”

August 19, 2009:White House Rethinks How It Sells Health Overhaul.  More Emotional Appeal May Surface as Obama’s Backers Criticize Him for Focusing on Regulatory Details Instead of Lofty Themes.” (The Wall Street Journal)

August 10, 2009: “Under Pressure on Health Care, White House Fights Back.  The White House on Monday started a new Web site to fight questionable but potentially damaging charges… But in introducing the Web site, White House officials were tacitly acknowledging a difficult reality: they are suddenly at risk of losing control of the public debate over a signature issue…” (The New York Times)

July 29, 2009:Obama Health Care PR in Overdrive.  His health care vision and political clout on the line, President Barack Obama is using virtually every tool available in a publicity campaign to pressure Congress…” (Associated Press)

July 21, 2009: “Obama Renews Health-Care Push.  Intensifying his public relations offensive on health care, President Barack Obama said Congress is closer than ever to a historic overhaul after decades of failure… The president's comments are part of a weeklong blitz designed to pile more pressure on lawmakers to move health-care bills through the House and Senate before their August recess.” (The Wall Street Journal)

July 19, 2009: “The tightly programmed White House also is champing at the bit, kicking off what officials say will be a relentless three-week push on health care, starting with the hastily scheduled Friday address.” (Politico)

May 13, 2009: Democrats to Develop Plan to Sell Health Care. … Senate Democrats met for more than an hour at the Capitol with David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, and Jim Messina, a deputy White House chief of staff. ‘Axelrod came to reassure us that they do have a strategy,’ Mr. Bayh said.” (The New York Times)