NBC News correspondent Chuck Todd reported Tuesday morning that the Obama White House, despite public expressions of support for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to pursue an opt-out public insurance option, remains skeptical that Reid can come up with the votes.
The administration basically told Reid, "You're the vote counter. But don't come crying to us when you need that last vote," Todd said on MSNBC.
Would Obama, only one vote shy of a huge victory, refuse to even attempt to twist the arm of that last Democratic hold out? This is a level of disdain, exhibited by the Obama administration for the public option, that boarders on insanity. The White House is telling the media that he will refuse to lift a finger to help pass his signature domestic policy goal simply because it contains a public option (which Obama continues to claim he supports). Is Obama so obsessed with killing the public option and winning the support of one Republican that he is willing to cripple his own Senate Majority Leader?
Instead of accepting that Reid has made his decision and backing him 100%, the Obama administration seems ready to undercut Reid at every turn. Reid will have a hard time whipping the votes he needs if Obama's advisors are telling everyone in Washington that they are secretly expecting (or promoting) Reid's failure. If Obama's advisors have convinced him that angering his base, throwing labor unions under the bus, and making his Senate Majority Leader look so weak it could cost him his re-election is the best way to get a "victory" and pass something labeled "health care reform," he has truly disappeared deep into the bubble.
Update - Greg Sargent is reporting that Chuck Todd is trying to clarify his statement which he claims got twisted. He claims the White House did not literally send that message, it is only "as if' they were sending that message."