[J]ust consider how [Snowe] spent her Thursday [December 17]: First she attended a meeting at the White House for roughly 80 to 90 minutes, a good portion of it one-on-one with President Obama. Later, she and Mr. Obama had a half-hour follow-up call. By any measure, that is a substantial chunk of the president’s day.
And what did that buy Obama?
Olympia Snowe, and every other Republican, not only voted against the bill, but voted to uphold two different points of order that health care reform is unconstitutional (one on the individual mandate, one on something even sillier). We know, of course, that Snowe was dead set against the public option, but if she also believes that an individual mandate is not just poor policy, but unconstitutional...well, two possibilities. One is that she (and the other thirty-nine Republicans) are principled believers in the idea that the Tenth Amendment places severe limits on what the federal government can do. The other is that Snowe, and the rest of the Republican Senators, are such craven cowards that they're terrified of ever defying whatever nonsense Glenn Beck and the rest of the crazy gang come up with.
But David Broder says, "It would help a lot if he reached out personally to those few Republicans who might still want to improve the bill rather than sink it." Perhaps Broder could be a little more specific: who are these Republicans, and what over and above taking two hours of the president's time (on one day alone!) would constitute reaching out personally?