His exact words this afternoon: “I will do everything in my power to make the case for reform.”

And so he will, so he will.

Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he’s obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson’s brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit…

“The Congressman is looking for development of bipartisan consensus,” Matheson’s press secretary Alyson Heyrend wrote to THE WEEKLY STANDARD on February 22. “It’s too early to know if that will occur.” Asked if one could infer that if no Republican votes in favor of the bill (i.e. if a bipartisan consensus is not reached) then Rep. Matheson would vote no, Heyrend replied: “I would not infer anything. I’d wait to see what develops, starting with the health care summit on Thursday.”

Scott Matheson’s plenty qualified for the job (follow the link for his resume), but it shows you how desperate The One is to win votes in the House at this point that he wouldn’t even care about the optics here. Dropping this announcement on the very day that he’s hosting Matheson’s brother to twist his arm on O-Care? What’s next? Televising the bribes he’s been making to inconvenient Democratic primary challengers? Put the graft on C-SPAN, Barry!

Oh, did I mention that Stupak’s more convinced than ever that the Senate bill, as is, is dead dead dead in the House? If they can’t figure out a way to “fix” Reid’s bill before asking the House to vote on it — which may be procedurally impossible — then it’s finito. Unless Obama can scrounge up some more federal judgeships, I guess.