From a Washington Post article
on the White House approach to legislation: (emp add)
But some Democrats would eventually complain that Obama was too hands-off, too absent, especially after tough votes.
When House Democrats passed energy legislation in June that included a controversial plan to curb carbon emissions, many returned home during a recess to angry constituents and found little support from the president. (...)
White House advisers say Democrats need to understand that Obama is not all-powerful. ... [a senior White House adviser who requested anonymity in order to speak frankly [said] "If there is a lesson out of the Massachusetts race, it is the people on Capitol Hill have to realize nobody can go win this for you. If you're going to cast the vote, then you have to be prepared to argue why it was the best vote."
The White House can (a) take some of the heat resulting from controversial legislation, (b) emphasize - again - why it's good policy, and (c) assist legislators who are under siege by scheduling a photo-op or some other event for the local pol. That's not a cure-all, but it's something
and every little bit helps.
If Health Care had passed two months ago Coakley would have won.
Its passage would unleash a thousand how-this-affects-you articles about which there would be no phony controversy, because it would be settled and media would have to report it as such, rather than he-said-she-said.
That's what Obama's staff should be telling Congress, not "you're on your own."
Sheesh, these people!
I didn't think that the entire Democratic Congress could fit under a single bus.