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Gibbs Says Health Care Reform is in the Red Zone

The Democrats keep hope alive.

11:21 AM, Feb 1, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Democrats continue to insist that the Obama health bill could pass this year. Last week Nancy Pelosi pledged to take up pole vaulting in order to pass a bill that majorities disapprove of. On Sunday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen told Fox News Sunday that health care is "not dead." (Maybe it's undead?) Meanwhile, Robert Gibbs told State of the Union that the bill is "still inside the five-yard line." 

Such rhetoric is more about bucking up liberals than it is a serious appraisal of the bill's chances, however. It is extremely unlikely that Pelosi will be able to corral the votes necessary to pass a modified Senate bill. The president seems to understand this; in his State of the Union address, he waited a half an hour before mentioning health care. The White House's top priority is a $100 billion jobs bill; once that passes, look for the administration to focus on education and energy. So why the happy talk? As long as the liberal base thinks health care reform could pass, they won't launch a full-scale revolt against the president and the Democratic leadership.

Superbowl-week NFL aside: If you are an offensive coordinator, you understand the problems inherent in having the ball inside the Red Zone. Clearly it's better to be closer to the end-zone than far away. But not every team inside the 25- or 10-yard line scores a touchdown. Defensive coverage can improve inside the Red Zone because there is less space on the field to worry about. Question is, at a time when the public is divided on the president and much of his agenda is stalled in Congress, which team do the Democrats most resemble: Arizona or St. Louis?

Incidentally, you can read an interesting rant against the Red-Zone statistic here.

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