Thursday, 27 August 2009

More nose-counting in the Senate

According to TPM, the 13 Democrats who have not signed on publicly for PO are:

Baucus says he wants PO.
Carper will support a bill with PO.
Tester is okay either way, PO or not PO.
Pryor could support PO if it increases competition instead of eliminating it. Done!
Warner won’t rule out PO.
Nelson FL, nobody knows.
Bayh said he’s agnostic; his wife is on the board of a private insurer.
Lincoln staying mum – reelection concerns.
Nelson NE has supported and opposed at various times.
Begich – very liberal from very conservative state.
Conrad was pushing for co-ops because he claimed PO couldn’t pass.

Landrieu is a probable “no”, also Lieberman.

Sounds like they’re saying Byrd and Wyden are already onboard (Byrd sounded pretty pro-PO yesterday, but then he needs to be well enough to show up, too). If that’s true, Obama has 46 and only needs 4 more from the 13 above, or could pick off one of the ladies from Maine too, or perhaps Isakson or even Hatch.

I think that of those first 11, few if any would be able to resist if Obama sat them down and said “I need your vote on this”. I think he pretty much has the first four in the bag already, which will probably forestall any Senator trying to hold Obama hostage so they can be that 50th Senator, the way Bob Kerrey tried to do to Clinton in 1993. The other seven want to be reassured that they won’t get crushed when they run for reelection, or that the PO plan won’t break the private insurers or the federal budget. And they all went plenty of ego-massaging.

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