A strong likely you say? You have to admire a man with such conviction in his equivocation.
Just as President Obama thought single-payer holdout Dennis Kucinich had
bought in to the Democrats' health care package, Minnesota's own Jim Oberstar is
now back in doubt.
Oberstar, after reportedly having words with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, appears to have backed off the assurance he gave last weekend, when he said he was "prepared" to vote for health care.
The Iron Range Democrat's latest utterance to Washington reporters, from a closing elevator door, was "I'm a strong, likely yes vote."
"He's not 100 percent in the yes column," [Oberstar spokesman John Schadl]
said Thursday. According to Schadl, that's not a change from last week. "He's precisely where he's been."
Why is a potential "no" vote from Oberstar a positive development for the bill's passage? It probably means they've got enough votes without him. Paraphrasing Mark Steyn, Oberstar is a last ditch liberal on this issue. An ideological die hard who will tow the line when he must, but ardently pro-life when it doesn't stand in the way of his party's agenda. If they don't need him anymore, he's free to resume the kabuki dance that plays so well with his voters. His spokesman is right, Oberstar is precisely where he's always been.