I said going in that the real audience here was marginal Members of the House, but that it wasn't clear what they wanted.
If they wanted the president to make a serious commitment, they got that.
If they wanted a show of bipartisanship, they got that -- although they didn't get the GOP stomping out, or not showing up, or bragging about being the party of "No."
If what they wanted was an assurance from the Senate, I don't know that they were helped with that. I didn't see anything at the summit, per se, to help with that, although Harry Reid has been more positive about it over the last couple weeks.
If what they wanted was major changes in the polls? There wasn't anything here to do that, because events like this can't change the polls.
I don't know which of these things they want. We'll learn more in the next few days. If it's either of the first two, then today probably moved the ball a bit.
As for the rest of it, Obama did well, and most Members on both sides did an okay job. If you want to understand the Democrats' core argument, watch the Obama/Barrasso exchange on coverage. I'm not sure that I could single out a core moment for the GOP, though. They had a set of talking points: bill is very large, bill is unpopular, clean slate, best health care in the world...but none of those is an argument about how health care should be organized. Either they're not interested in advancing their ideas about how health care should be organized, or they're incapable of doing so, or, more likely, they'd rather try to win the argument about whether the bill should pass than try to win the substantive argument. The Democrats were also reciting their talking points, but for the most part theirs were much more substantive, and I agree with Jonathan Chait that the Republicans pretty much just let those talking points go uncontested.
So, bottom line, the fact of the summit may have helped reassure wavering House Dems to vote for the bill. The actual discussion within the summit didn't really do much of anything, although I have nothing against it at all as an exercise in democracy. Next step I guess is putting the president's compromise into legislative language, getting a CBO score, and then finally finding out whether Pelosi has enough votes. We'll know soon.