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Obama Exercising That Old, Old, Very Old Charm on Health Care

2:11 PM, Mar 19, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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The whole House Democratic Caucus is headed to the White House for a face-to-face with the man himself this weekend:

The Caucus will meet with the president at 4 p.m., the aide said.

There had been some talk that Obama might come to the Hill to meet with Members before they cast their final vote on health care, but now it appears the president is bringing the Caucus to him.

Meanwhile, Christina Bellantoni feels like she's in a time warp to Oct. 2008, and who can blame her:

"Make some phone calls and knock on some doors! We are going to make history," Obama said at what could be his last presidential rally before Congress votes to send final health care reform legislation to his desk.

I spent nearly two years on the road with Obama (and the rest of the 2008 candidates) and today's rally at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia made me feel as if I'd jumped in the Hot Tub Time Machine. I was practically waiting for Obama to offer his most prized stump line from fall 2008, which went something like this in Jacksonville, or Las Vegas, or Evansville, Indiana: "We are less than two days away from bringing about change in America."...

"We are going to make history. We are going to fix health care in America with your help," Obama said.

Will it finally do the trick? One Dem Congressman tweets that health care will get 221 votes, but with no apparent evidence. The charm offensive is in high gear, but some Democrats just don't want to talk to the president. Heart-ache:

If there was a Do Not Call Registry to block phone solicitations from the White House, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.) wants in.

Cuellar, a fiscally and socially moderate Hispanic Democrat from Laredo, tells reporters that he’s strongly leaning toward backing heath care reform – but that he’s been ducking calls from President Obama’s staff because he doesn’t want to enter the wind tunnel of presidential persuasion.

“With all due respect to the president, I have to look at my district. ... I want to make up my own mind,” said Cuellar, one of several Democrats who have told POLITICO that they’ve been avoiding Obama and his surrogates during the final few days of lobbying.

The last call came from Dan Turton, Obama’s top liaison to the House, the day before last – “I haven’t returned it,” said Cuellar, a former Texas secretary of state with a maverick streak. He endorsed George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential race.

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