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2016 Postmortem

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(60,536 posts)
Mon Nov 18, 2013, 08:46 AM Nov 2013

President Obama Should Never Apologize for Passing Obamacare [View all]

By Jon FavreauNovember 18th 20135:45 AM

Obama’s taken responsibility for HealthCare.gov and apologized to those who got cancellation notices. But he should never be sorry for passing a law to bring us affordable health care.

It’s true what they say: Barack Obama does not relish the game of politics. Don’t get me wrong—as the first president in more than five decades to win more than 51 percent of the vote twice, he understands how the game is played. The man knows how to read a poll, and he is certainly not immune to the very human disappointment one must feel when the numbers show that a majority of your fellow citizens personally disapprove of you and the job that you’re doing.

But Obama did not run for elected office because he needed to be loved. He has his family and friends for that, and he lacks the insecurity that lies just beneath the healthy egos of so many politicians. This president does not crave constant affirmation, which means he does not engage easily in the backslapping and glad-handling and forced emoting that comes so naturally to other elected officials.

The flip side of this character trait is Obama is more likely than most to make decisions that reflect the courage of his convictions. Yes, the president has said and done things aimed at improving his own political fortunes, as well as the fortunes of his party. He is neither pure nor perfect, and as I said, he understands how the game is played.

But he opposed the war in Iraq at a time when most every Democrat with national ambitions lined up in support. Obama was the candidate who responded to the wildly offensive rants of his former pastor with an incredibly risky, nuanced, honest discussion about race relations in the midst of a heated campaign to become the nation’s first black president.

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