“Rarely have so many political strategists been so wrong about something so big”

“The moment health care is signed into law, that is half-time. The next half is selling it to the American people.” — Third Way vice president FOR policy Jim Kessler in POLITICO on Oct. 19, 2009.

Obama mentions the law during public remarks, often at Democratic fundraisers. But it’s usually just a few lines wedged between the economy and the financial regulatory overhaul. And it’s nothing like the full court press that political analysts predicted before the bill’s passage and White House officials hinted at.

The president shifted immediately to the economy, then to the Wall Street reform bill and the Gulf Coast oil spill. He’s done only a handful of events focused on health care reform in the last six months.

“I realized it wasn’t half time. The game was actually over,” Kessler said. “People just said, ‘I don’t want to listen to stories about this anymore. It took too long, I didn’t like the process and in the end, I might like the bill but just stop talking to me about it.’”