If President Obama was looking for his State of the Union Address to change the dynamic on health care reform, there did not seem to be any immediate payoff for the White House on that front, as both sides stayed in their partisan corners.
There was no deadline for action, no offer of a deal, no plan of action. Really, it was just a re-packaged effort on a national stage to try to get back some momentum.
“Don’t walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we’re this close,” the President said to lawmakers, as he acknowledged that he bears part of the blame for the current gridlock of health reform, as Mr. Obama said he should have explained the plan better to the voters.
“Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people,” he added.
It sounded good, but it was hard to detect any movement on either side of the issue, as both sides said they were ready to deal, but that the other side was not.
Behind the scenes, Democrats continued to meet yesterday, trying to signal that they are interested in getting something done on health care.
But the hard truth is that since the Democrats lost that Senate seat in Massachusetts, the air has gone out of the health care balloon.
And right now, it probably won’t be easy to pump it up again this year.