Healthcare Win Won't Prevent Other Political Pitfalls for Obama
Healthcare ruling will energize Obama's Democratic base but won't necessarily win over swing voters
June 28, 2012
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision on National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius helps President Barack Obama's campaign in a big way. Fundraisers, partisans, and surrogates will throw him a lot of love over the coming weeks. He gets to add a strong value proposition slide to his PowerPoint collection.
But don't expect undecided voters to do the same. Their vote doesn't hinge on it. It pivots on jobs. Over the course of the last month, most of the major polls show that 55 percent of people rank the economy as their first priority, but only 14 percent do the same for healthcare. Big chunks of the public won't be jumping the Obama bandwagon post-haste.
The president's supercharge comes from the refreshed narrative he can now convey to energize influential interests within the Democratic Party. He's going to get a lot of applause from partisans who have the power to mobilize voters during the general election. Not to mention more donors will be compelled to write checks at some of the big-ticket fundraising events he has scheduled in the coming weeks.
However, the looming Attorney General Eric Holder contempt vote could burst the president's 44 blue balloons. If Republicans prevail, they'll able to use the victory to change the political dialogue. It doesn't bode well now for the White House; several Democrats have already signaled they'll cast their vote in red ink.
The healthcare ruling gives the president's campaign bus a smooth stretch of road, but any one of the many political potholes coming up could force it to swerve onto the shoulder.