Sunday, August 16, 2009

Campaign tactics back as Obama presses health care

President Barack Obama is using political tactics and rhetorical devices honed in his White House campaign to regain the upper hand in the health care debate over increasingly vocal critics.
In person and over the Internet, Obama is trying to counter intense public skepticism that's flared nationwide in recent weeks over Democrats' plans to overhaul the nation's health care system. It's his top domestic priority and arguably his most challenging political fight yet as president, in no small part because of the vast number of diverse stake-holders involved.

Familiar tools from the Obama candidacy are being used in the struggle, adapted to his office: among them the town hall meetings with his sleeves rolled up, a quick-response Web site to douse critics' claims, chain e-mails and a populist pitch against the entrenched powers in Washington.

Plus he's now got the bully pulpit, which he used Saturday.

"I know there's plenty of real concern and skepticism out there," he said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "I know that in a time of economic upheaval, the idea of change can be unsettling, and I know that there are folks who believe that government should have no role at all in solving our problems."

Carefully trying not to alienate opponents even while taking them on, he cited "legitimate differences worthy of the real discussion that America deserves." But as Democratic allies face taunts and insults at town hall style gatherings, Obama asked his audience to "lower our voices, listen to one another and talk about differences that really exist."

You can read the entire article here

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