Languages
Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:57 UK
Obama woos Congress on healthcare



US President Barack Obama addresses Congress on 9 September 2009
US media reaction to Mr Obama's speech has been fiercely divided

US President Barack Obama's healthcare reform speech has provoked fierce debate in the American media.

Some pundits say he has regained momentum and delivered another rhetorical tour de force.

But others thought he sounded unrealistic and too partisan, even bitter, while criticism was also directed at Mr Obama's heckler.

LOS ANGELES TIMES EDITORIAL

The hard part, in terms of both policy and politics, is finding a way to pay for the expansion in coverage. And on that most contentious issue, unfortunately, Obama argued that Congress could cover most of the cost by attacking waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid [existing federal health programmes for the elderly and poor] - a pain-free path that's as unrealistic as it is alluring... he left some of the hardest questions unanswered.

WASHINGTON POST'S EZRA KLEIN

If Obama hasn't created the perfect plan, he's created something arguably more impressive: a plan that actually might pass. That plan might not do enough to change the system, and it may not spend enough to protect everybody, but there is plenty in the proposal that will better the lives, health coverage, and financial security for millions of real people.

NEW YORK TIMES

Though Mr Obama spoke of a plan that 'incorporates ideas from... Democrats and Republicans,' he used the kind of tough, confrontational language that suggested the extent to which the White House would seek to portray Republicans as recalcitrant and standing in the face of a historical tide.

KARL ROVE, FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The problem for Democrats is they are scaring voters by proposing a takeover of healthcare that spends too much money, creates too much debt, gives Washington too much power, and takes too much decision-making away from doctors and patients… the prospect of their own political future may yet concentrate many Democratic minds in Congress.

ATLANTIC MONTHLY'S MEGAN MCARDLE

The complaints about Republicans at the end also didn't sound, to me, like they'll play well. Right now, more voters are on their side than yours. Don't tell them they're gullible dupes and/or mean-spirited obstructionists.

CLARENCE PAGE, FOR THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Help me out here: does anyone recall the last time a congressman called the president a liar to his face during of a joint session of Congress? Whatever good [Rep. Joe] Wilson might have done himself with the right-wing yahoo chorus in the bleachers and blogosphere, he did not help his party convey an image of having grown-ups in charge.

JOHN PODHORETZ, FOR COMMENTARY MAGAZINE

[It] was nearly an hour of snake-oil salesmanship, promises that cannot possibly be kept, and false invocations of bipartisan civility even as he was trying to deliver partisan roundhouses of his own.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOR THE DAILY BEAST

Never has a president been warped by Washington quicker. At times tonight, Obama sounded like an embattled second-termer. What percentage of his speech was spent lashing out at his enemies, real and imagined?... This isn't how confident leaders speak. These are the complaints of a man on his way to bitterness. So soon?



Print Sponsor



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific