Sam Stein reports that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs suggested that the President has been as insistent that Joe Lieberman make concessions for the team as he’s been with liberals.
Asked if Obama is as demanding of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn), whose opposition to a public option and Medicare buy-in provision led to their removal, as he has been of progressives like Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), both staunch supporters of a public plan, Gibbs affirmatively replied: "Yes."
"The president was clear with members of the democratic caucus, including independents who caucus with the Democrats," he said.
Oh. That would explain why Joe has been so downcast lately, hiding from reporters so he doesn’t have to explain how disheartened he is for having been forced to give up so many reform features that were really important to him.
And it also brings a new perspective to the New York Times report on Joe’s strange behavior yesterday:
Mr. Lieberman could not be happier. He is right where he wants to be — at the center of the political aisle, the center of the Democrats’ efforts to win 60 votes for their sweeping health care legislation. For the moment, he is at the center of everything — and he loves it.
“My wife said to me, ‘Why do you always end up being the point person here?’” he said, flashing a broad grin in an interview on Monday.
Poor guy must have been fighting back the tears as he said that, but like a man, he sucked it up.
Uh, Mr. Gibbs: Most of us can handle compromises, even losing when we don’t have the votes. We can come back. But I for one get really pissed when someone tries to BS me about what happened and who helped. And since the White House credibility is not very good at the moment, you might want to think about that.