Hey, it only took fourteen months, but who’s counting? Bloomberg reports that Barack Obama finally has an agenda for a second term in office, and it’s that he needs the time to fix the one major accomplishment of his first term in office — and it seems that Obama increasingly thinks he’ll have to go back to the drawing board:
President Barack Obama is confiding to Democratic donors that he may have to revisit the health-care issue in a second term, a position at odds with his publicly expressed confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the Affordable Care Act, according to three Democratic activists.
As he previewed his agenda for donors at a May 14 fundraiser, Obama said he may be forced to try to revise parts of his health-care plan, depending on how the court rules later this month, said one activist, who requested anonymity to discuss the president’s comments. Guests at the $35,800-a-plate dinner in the Manhattan apartment of Blackstone Group LP (BX) President Tony James were asked to check their smart phones and BlackBerries at the door.
The president has made similar remarks, usually in response to questions, at other fundraising events since the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case during the last week of March, according to two other activists, who also requested anonymity.
Obama’s answers, which begin with the president repeating his contention that the high court will uphold the law, have led some contributors to conclude the White House is making contingency plans should the justices strike down parts of the law, which would give Republicans a powerful talking point about one of his signature issues.
Obama may also be repeating his assertion that ObamaCare passes Constitutional muster, but clearly the White House is planning for the possibility that a majority of Supreme Court justices won’t agree. After oral arguments in March exposed the weakness of the Obama administration’s arguments, especially on the individual mandate, some contingency planning would certainly be in order. Other groups are way ahead of Obama, as Bloomberg notes, plotting public demonstrations no matter which way the Supreme Court rules this month on the matter.
The problem for Obama isn’t that he’s starting to discuss those contingency plans for a second term. It’s that this is the first we’ve heard of any agenda for the next four years. If Obama plans to run on “Four more years — to fix my mistakes!”, well, Team O shouldn’t be too shocked when voters choose the alternative.