rebel with a cause

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

NPR: Richard Wolffe (in his new book Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House) writes that Obama was holding back tears when he finally signed the health care bill. He says that it helps answer an important question: why Obama stubbornly insisted on moving forward with the health care overhaul when others advised against it.

“This was clearly a decision that his own chief of staff didn’t agree with, and there were other senior advisers who thought this was insane, lunatic, to risk the presidency on it,” Wolffe says. “And it comes down to the memory of his mother.

“So, his mother passed away because of cancer. Her experience in her final days and months was about struggling with insurance companies over … the question of pre-existing conditions. And if you listen to the president, what does he talk about most?” Wolffe says. “It’s about insurance companies quibbling with patients about pre-existing conditions.

“And he tears up — it’s strange that people didn’t kind of notice it — in all of the hullabaloo around the signing in the East Room, he can barely keep it together. And that’s very, very rare — to see a president, especially this president, who is struggling, fighting with himself, to hold back the tears.”

Although the health care overhaul may have hurt Democrats at the polls, it wouldn’t have been Obama’s style not to go for it, Wolffe says.

3 Responses to “rebel with a cause”

  1. 1 vitaminlover
    November 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Bless President Barack Obama!! He loved his mom. I am sure that losing her hurt him deeply. He is so brave despite the losses of loved ones so close to him. I believe this is why he is so compassionate.

  2. 2 dannie22
    November 17, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Our President is a lovely man.

  3. 3 Kelly
    November 17, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Yes, because we all know poll numbers are more important than doing the right thing. *eyerollingsohardrightnow* I don’t like this Wolfe person, then again I despise all these pundits/book writers all aiming to make a buck off the good name of President Obama.

    I thank the President so much for doing the right thing.

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