White House now blaming it all on Harry Reid; Obama happy to help Reid get the 60 votes he needs after Reid already has the 60 votes he needs

You see, President Obama really wanted to follow through on his campaign promise for a robust public option, he wanted to lobby individual members of Congress all these months on behalf of this goal, but you see, the administration now explains, Senator Reid never asked him to help. From TNR:

On Sunday, a senior administration official told TNR: We will be 100 percent behind whichever direction Reid decides to go. … Reid hasn’t asked for help. He is polling his caucus to make a decision on the opt out or the trigger. Whichever way he chooses, president Obama will help make the sale publicly and privately.

So, once Harry Reid is done whipping his caucus, leaning on Senators, and cajoling his fellow members to vote for the plan he’d prefer – once all of that is done and Senator Reid has finally gotten the 60 votes he needs, only then will the President be happy to weigh in, publicly and privately, and help Senator Reid get the 60 votes he needs – the votes Senator Reid will already have at that point.

And actually, there’s a bigger problem for the White House now. Senior adviser to the President, Valerie Jarrett, said on Friday that the White House was already pushing for the public option.

It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Jarrett not only defended and reaffirmed President Obama’s support for the public option, but said “we’re going to keep pushing until they very last moment” for it.

Yet today we find out that the White House isn’t pushing at all, because they claim that Harry Reid hasn’t asked them to, but they plan on pushing once Reid finally lines up the votes. Then why did Jarrett say on Friday that the White House was already pushing, if we now find out that they’re not?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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