Can President Obama flip Dennis Kucinich's vote on the health care bill from "no" to "yes"? Today Kucinich is flying with the president aboard Air Force One en route to the liberal Ohio congressman's district, where Obama will deliver his stump speech for the Democratic health care overhaul.
Kucinich has been steadfastly opposed to the Senate bill. He favors a single-payer plan and says the Senate bill is a giveaway to insurance companies. Other left-wingers on the national stage once shared this concern, but have turned on Kucinich in a concerted effort to give a (pyrrhic) victory to Obama even if it's also a victory for insurance companies. Keith Olbermann said he'd rather go to jail than buy mandated insurance, and Markos Moulitsas came out in favor of killing the Senate bill. But liberals are now calling Kucinich the "Ralph Nader" of health care reform, and Moulitsas is now threatening to recruit a primary challenger against Kucinich (Ohio's filing deadline has passed, so Kucinich is safe until 2012).
You'd think that Kucinich would be one of the easier votes to flip, but if you watch this video, he has longstanding, principled objections to the bill:
Kucinich seems to dismiss the argument liberals have used to try to get his vote--that this bill will lay the foundation for single-payer in the future. The current Senate bill is "built on sand," Kucinich told MSNBC. Is a plane ride with Obama enough to make Kucinich change his mind?
Update: Via First Read, the answer seems to be, no, Kucinich will not vote for Obamacare without a public option.