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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Healthy House

A major yee-ha for the House tonight. The vote was close (220-215), but I haven't heard anyone say the obvious yet: this was close only because Dems took a prudent incumbent protection strategy. A secret "conscience" vote would have likely been much higher. Pelosi, wisely, is letting her more skittish members opt out. There were a few votes, however, that caught my eye.

Against: Artur Davis (AL), and Dennis Kucinich (OH). The Elfin One makes me wonder how many other (if any) votes the Dems lost as symbolic protests against the bill's conservatism. And what's with Davis? Must be an Alabama thing; he's positioning himself for the statewide gubernatorial run. If you read the statement, it sounds like he's giving himself wiggle room to vote for the eventual reconciled bill that will move closer to the Senate version.

For: Jim Cooper (TN). As much of a wanker as he's been of late, he actually went the way his Nashville district wanted. He's the rare blue dog less popular than Obama in his own district. I had a chat with our local Dem chairman a few days ago, and he spun the usual blue dog spin ("bad bill," "Pelosi can't count," etc.), and he obviously needs to back his boy, Gordon, who really is in a pickle over this. Unlike Cooper's, this district is only ~40-60 for the public option, and McCain won here by 26 points. He also predicted, incorrectly it now turns out, that Steve Cohen, from a ridiculously liberal Memphis district, would be the lone TN Dem yea vote. Looks like Nancy counts pretty well.


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