This seems very strange to me and shows the depth of ill will there must be on the Senate Finance Committee these days. Baucus publicly screwed over Wyden on his free choice amendment a few days ago, but Baucus's slight of Rockefeller was longer and maybe more serious.
Rockefeller chairs the Senate Finance Committee subcommittee on health care. Not only did Baucus skip over the Rockefeller's subcommittee, but he selected two lower ranking Democratic senators (Conrad and Bingaman) with less health care experience to be part of his “gang of six.”
Rockefeller has been very public with the fact that he is both unhappy with both the shape of the Baucus bill and the secretive way it was written. Baucus now needs Rockefeller to help vote the bill out of committee, but seems to have left the job of twisting Rockefeller's arm completely up to the White House.
Baucus himself keeps saying Rockefeller will vote for the bill, but hasn’t talked with him. Obama has urged him to, both in person and on the phone, and now the West Virginian’s colleagues seem to be giving him space to let the president’s words sink in.
Rockefeller said Tuesday that “nobody” has approached him. “Has Baucus talked directly to me? No.”
The fact that Baucus has not personally asked Rockefeller for his vote just seems like bad politics--and like an incredibly dick move. This is behavior you would expect at a middle school semi-formal, not from the "world's most deliberative body."