Republican leaders are now very wary of Snowe’s latest efforts to work with Obama, in part because they believe a health care bill will yield what they view as similarly disastrous results.

“They remember the stimulus well and they are still quite upset,” said a Republican Senate leadership aide. “That is the biggest problem with the White House focusing its attention on one Republican. It’s not going to translate into votes in the Senate.”

Obama’s decision to work with Snowe has also invoked anger from the Left. More than 80 House Democrats have already pledged to vote “no” on any bill that does not include a strong public option. It will be hard for them to go back on their word with their most liberal supporters watching closely.